Wawrinka optimistic ahead of French Open title defence

Stan Wawrinka thinks Novak Djokovic will take some stopping at the French Open but the defending champion is confident he can make his presence felt once again.

Wawrinka beat Djokovic in the final at Roland Garros last year to claim his maiden French Open title and deny the world number one a career Grand Slam.

The Swiss secured a first singles title on home soil by beating Marin Cilic in the Geneva Open final on Saturday and will start his French Open defence just two days later against Lukas Rosol.

Djokovic has already won five titles this year and Wawrinka is in no doubt the Serb is the man to beat, but the two-time grand-slam champion is optimistic he can give a good account of himself in Paris.

He said: “I’d say that Novak is the main favourite. It was the case last year, as well. I think to beat him, it’s going to be very difficult, and then there is [Andy] Murray and [Rafa] Nadal on an equal footing, and then I’m just after them. Just after.

“But it all depends. I’ll see what I can do during the first week, but I’ll try. I know what can happen, you know, so I’ll have to do my best so that I’m still here in a few days from now.

“I’m confident enough. I know I can do something here, that’s for sure. And apart from that, well, you know what really matters is my first match. It’s always the same.

“I can go deep. I know that. But I’ll have to try to keep my focus to get started.

Wawrinka is hopeful that his late arrival for the second grand slam of the year will not pose a problem.

The world number four added: “It’s the first time I have arrived so late, that’s for sure. Now, I hope it’s not going to bother me for tomorrow, but I arrived yesterday evening. I prepared with my fitness trainer and I practised a little.

“I’ll eat and I’ll have my coach with me. The good thing is that I just wanted to practice but not too long, because I played quite a lot recently.

“My confidence is up and I hope I’ll be able to win the match to get started and to get the real pace of a grand slam.”

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