Wawrinka after his victory in Indian Wells against Rune: “I always wanted to push my limits”

“What does this victory against Holger Rune mean to you?
It’s a great win, that’s for sure. Important. I should have finished in the second set, I lost track of my game, I was nervous, I thought about what I had to do and not enough about what I was doing, and it escaped me . But I’m very happy because I hung on. I stayed inside.

It was a special match since your Bercy match where you advised him to“stop behaving like a baby. » Have you tried to play on this context?
No. We played at Bercy, I had a match point, he played well and he beat me before winning the tournament. Since then, it has really evolved. It’s just that if I feel better, it shows in the face. The opponents feel it, it gives them more doubts. He is in a particular period. Between what he does, what he wants to do, and where he is currently, he is obviously looking for himself a bit.

“He is a young player (Holger Rune), a very great champion already, with enormous potential. But he is making a reputation in the locker room that he will one day regret.

Stan Wawrinka in Indian Wells

At the end of the match, Rune provoked you a bit by asking you if “this time, you still had something to (him) say “. How did you take it?
There’s not much to say there. The only thing I can add is that he is a young player, a very great champion already with enormous potential. But he is making a reputation in the locker room that he will regret one day.

Are you where you wanted to be after coming back from injury?
Things have been going well over the past few weeks. I chained good victories. I continue to progress. I feel that I am getting stronger tennistically and physically. When I play matches, I feel good.

Where do you stand in relation to this level that leads you to win Grand Slam tournaments?
I’m not looking to find the level I had before. Tennis is a difficult sport in the sense that you should never rely on the moments when you played well. The most important thing is what we do when we are not playing well or when we are not feeling well. The majority of matches, you don’t feel very good. If we base ourselves on our best level, or on the feelings of a good week, we will never be satisfied and we will lose a lot of matches that we should have won. I just focus on the present. Where I can ess my level of play is when I train, how I move, how I feel the ball. For the past few months, in the majority of training, I feel very strong, in fact. You just have to place the gauge below for the matches. Because you shouldn’t try to compare. And the more we raise the level in training, the more it follows in matches, of course.

“I always wanted to push my limits […]. As long as there’s this willingness to love what I do, to see that I’m competitive with the best, I’m fine.”

Stan Wawrinka in Indian Wells

Already, you’ve been back in the top 100 since last week…
This is obviously a big step after being out of it for so long. It’s a big number and I want to keep climbing, and try to be seeded in Grand Slams.

Did you go back to “Stanimal”?
I’m leaving to be 38 soon (he smiles). What happens to me does not surprise me because I have always wanted to push my limits. And of course I’m very happy at my age to be able to compete with a young 19-year-old Top 10 in three sets. But I am lucid. There are ups and downs. It’s not just going to go up like that indefinitely, I know that very well. I have fun, a lot of desire. As long as there is this desire to love what I do, to see that I am competitive with the best, I am fine! There were great moments with the public in Basel last year and I’m enjoying every moment because I know it’s almost over.

There is a lot of talk at the moment about the return of famous injuries between Murray, Thiem, Monfils…
We all have different careers, different desires, different injuries. It is the desire that we put on this recovery to push ourselves that will make the difference. Murray doesn’t bluff me because he’s always bluffed me. He is one of the greatest champions who have ever played tennis, although unfortunately he does not have as many Grand Slam titles as he deserves. Gael (My son), he clearly has the level. I have trained with him several times over the past few weeks. He was ready. Now, we have to see how his body holds up, how he manages all that. I already told him a few weeks ago: from the moment he was physically ready, he had to resume competition quickly, because precisely it will take time to regain. Even if with him we don’t know, it’s always been different! But no matter, he has to chain matches.

“I enjoy every moment because I know it’s almost over”

Stan Wawrinka in Indian Wells

In the French department, we can welcome another form of return with Benoît Paire, who has just won a Challenger tournament…
Of course I saw that. I saw he quit alcohol a week ago, so that’s good. Things are falling into place. Go Benoit!

Do you miss Federer?
He is still missing, of course. As a friend, as a tennis fan. I played my whole career with him. When he’s not there, it’s not the same. We write to each other from time to time. »

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