Wawrinka set for Chennai Open title defence

December 29th, 2011 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Roger Federer Chennai, Dec 29 (IANS) Best known as Roger Federer’s sparring partner, Stanislas Wawrinka believes he is as ready as he could be to defend his title in the Airccel Chennai Open scheduled to be held here Jan 2-8.

“My preparation was great. I spent some time in Gstaad in the Swiss mountains where I did a lot of physical work. Then I went back to Lausanne where I practised a lot on the court with some Swiss players. I feel like I am ready and well prepared,” said the Swiss World No.17.

The 26-year old Wawrinka who was a finalist here in 2010 before winning the title last year, listed Serb Janko Tipsarevic, ranked No.9, and Spaniard Nicolas Almagro (10) and young Canadian Milons Raonic as among his main challengers.

“The draw is very interesting and it will be a great tournament for sure,” he said of the impressive field of Indian and global stars that included Serbian world No. 9 Janko Tipsarevic, world No. 10 Nicolas Almagro of Spain and big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic.

“Tipsarevic has showed in 2011 that he is one of the contenders for the top 10 in 2012; Raonic is a young player with an impressive game who loves to play on any fast surface and will cause some upsets in the next few months.

“Almagro is a big fighter and always a tough opponent,” said Wawrinka, the Beijing Olympics doubles gold medallist who will be making his fourth consecutive appearance at the Chennai Open.

“I have played some great tennis here and hope that it will be the case again this year.

“The level in men’s tennis is great and you have to play your best to be able to win matches, not even talking about reaching finals or titles. But I am confident that I can do well again, hopefully with the support of the crowd,” said Wawrinka who is bidding to get back into top 10.

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