Despite beating Novak Djokovic in the final at Roland Garros last year, Stan Wawrinka has branded the world number one the favourite for this year’s tournament.
Djokovic would have completed a calendar Grand Slam last year had Wawrinka not defeated him 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the Paris finale.
Even though Wawrinka is heading into the second grand slam of the year with the Geneva Open title under his belt, the world number four has played down his chances of retaining his Roland Garros title.
“Despite that, it’s going to be interesting French Open, for sure since there are many, many good players in form,” he told reporters. “Novak is the favorite, for sure. But I think it’s going to be interesting to see what’s going to happen with the other players.
“Talking about Novak, he’s still playing amazing tennis, if you look what happened this year already, and since last year in the final. He’s going to be really difficult to beat. That’s a fact.
“I watched some highlights (of last year’s final against Djokovic)…That’s always some good memories to take…But I’m not going to take anything for this year. It was one year ago. It’s a completely different story. It was a final. Now I know how it is. It’s a new Grand Slam, new tournament, new player to play. You need to start from the beginning.”
The 31-year-old will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Lukas Rosol and Wawrinka is brimming with confidence heading into the match as he beat Rosol 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 in the semi-finals of the Geneva Open on Friday.
“I’m happy to have won [on Saturday]. It was important tournament for me. Took some big confidence by winning the trophy there and arriving here,” Wawrinka said about his Geneva Open triumph. “For sure it’s late arriving for a Grand Slam, especially if you want to go far in a Grand Slam, but I think I’m feeling good. I’m feeling fit. My tennis is there, and I’m ready to play my first match tomorrow.”
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