Swissman Stanislas Wawrinka managed to enter the Top 10 in 2008 and claimed his career-high position number 9 in last June. Furthermore, he won the Olympic Gold medal of the doubles competition in Beijing. In an exclusive interview with HEAD, he talks about his great 2008 season, his goals for 2009 and about the very demanding life on tour.
You recently claimed the Olympic Gold Medal in the doubles competition with compatriot Roger Federer at the Beijing Games: what was your Olympic experience like and how did it feel to win a gold medal for your country?
Obviously, it was an unbelievable experience and my greatest success in my career so far. It was the first Olympic experience for me – you know to be in the Olympic village with all the Swiss athletes. The victory was very emotion and to win the tournament and share it with my friend Roger Federer was like a dream come true.
At the end of 2007 you were ranked on position 36 of the ATP ranking. How would you explain your great development in 2008 and breaking into the Top 10?
In 2007, I had a pretty serious injury, when I broke my knee and so I lost four months of playing tournaments. I was working very hard to come back and I already played very good in the end of 2007 and could fortunately conservate my form in 2008.
What are your goals/expectations for 2009?
I would really like to attend the Tennis Masters Cup in London in 2009 and of course I would also like to win once I am there.
Who is your best friend on tour respectively with whom do you spend most of the time?
I spend a lot of time with Swiss players, especially with my friend Roger. Further, I often hang out with Marcos Baghdatis and Andy Murray and some of the young French players.
Your coach Dimitri Zavialoff works together with you for more than 12 years. This is a very long time in today’s tennis? Was there never a situation when you thought about changes?
No, because as long as I work with Dimitri, my ranking always went up and I could improve my game. And I think that there is still potential to go higher.
Is there tournament would you like to win in particular?
Definitely the French Open.
How do you spend the last 30 minutes before a match?
Not very special things. I stay in the locker room with my Physio and prepare my racquets.
When did you start to play tennis?
At the age of 8.
Was there a tennis player you idolized when you were a kid?
I didn’t really have a player I idolized, but I enjoyed to watch the matches of Pete Sampras.
How would your friends or peers describe you?
I would say friendly, honest and probably a bit shy.
Last, but not least - how do you see your partnership with HEAD?
I play HEAD racquets for many years. It feels good to belong to this team and to play a great racquet. For me, it was definitely the right decision. I am very happy with the company and the relationships to all the people there could not be better.