Fresh off his semi-final run at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka is ready to continue his strong start to the 2020 season at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
The 34-year-old Wawrinka, who beat Rafael Nadal in the 2014 final, is the 15th seed at the season’s first Grand Slam and will meet Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia & Herzegovina in the first round.
“It’s another year and still after all these years on Tour, I’m always very happy to be here. I prepared very well and I feel good here. I practised all week, feeling good, and I hope to get a good start into this tournament,” Wawrinka said.
“It’s the first Grand Slam of the season. It’s summer here and we come from the European winter. It’s more or less the first time we see the sun here usually. There are many fans here and a great atmosphere all day on all courts. I won my first Grand Slam here. I also like the conditions and am happy to be back here.”
Dzumhur, a three-time ATP Tour champion currently ranked No. 92 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, leads their ATP Head2Head series 2-1, which includes their most recent contest last year on clay in Geneva. The two split their hard-court meetings in Dubai (2017) and St. Petersburg (2018).
“I know Dzumhur well, I played him several times. I have lost and won against him in the past. He plays mostly from the baseline, moves well, returns well, does everything well. I think it will depend on how I play and if I can impose my game. I hope that I can do that,” Wawrinka said.
The Swiss last won a Grand Slam title at the 2016 US Open, but he remains the last player outside the Big Three of Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer to have won a major championship. The legendary trio have won the past 12 Grand Slam men’s singles titles (Nadal, five; Djokovic, four; Federer, three).
Wawrinka, however, will bring confidence from his Doha semi-final. The Swiss fell to Frenchman Corentin Moutet in three sets.
“It was the first tournament, and of course you always want to improve and do better. I had my chances, which I didn’t take sadly,” Wawrinka said. “Nevertheless it was a good start to the year. I’m very happy about my 10 days in Doha before coming here… I’m happy about the level of my game and how practice goes. Now I can’t wait to play my first match.”