Swiss third seed aims to pass quarter-finals at Indian Wells for the first time
With an ATP Masters 1000 title, Grand Slam trophies, an Olympic gold medal and Davis Cup to his name,Stan Wawrinka is in elite company. Determined to add to his lone ATP Masters 1000 triumph from 2014 Monte-Carlo, however, the Swiss third seed would dearly love to break his desert hoodoo with victory in this year’s BNP Paribas Open.
In eight previous Indian Wells campaigns, the 30 year old’s best results are a pair of quarter-final runs. He arrives this year with a 13-2 start to the season, including titles in Chennai and Dubai.
“I didn’t play well so far here. Hopefully this year I can change that,” Wawrinka said. “I’ve been feeling really good on the practice court so that’s already positive. Hopefully I can have a great year this year but it’s a big draw, a tough draw, you need to be ready from the first match.”
No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, Wawrinka will open his campaign against either Russian Dmitry Tursunov or Ukraine’s Illya Marchenko in the second round. If the draw progresses according to the seedings, he would likely have to overturn a 1-2 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against French eighth seed Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals before an expected semi-final clash with second seed Andy Murray. He narrowly trails the Scot 7-8 in their 15 prior meetings.
“It’s a really big tournament and it’s played over 10 days so we have a lot of time but it’s still a two-set match so you get ready like any other tournament,” Wawrinka said.
“I’m feeling great. It’s great to be back here. I got here early with my coach Magnus [Norman] to get some practice … I’m really happy with my level so far.”
After an opening loss to Robin Haase at Indian Wells last year, Wawrinka stands to give his Emirates ATP Ranking a healthy boost should he make a deep run in 2016. Despite having never tasted his greatest results in the Californian desert, he praised the tournament.
“Everything they do for the players; the stadium is amazing,” Wawrinka said. “The space for the players too, there are more and more fans and what they improve every year is amazing.” ATP Tennis