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Stanislas Wawrinka Q&A: A Good Front Runner

Rome, Italy

Wawrinka © Getty ImagesStanislas Wawrinka defeated Robin Haase in his opening match.

As part of's Q&A series, World No. 20 Stanislas Wawrinka revealed at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia what it takes for him to play his best tennis, his favourite time of the tennis season and his thoughts on the Olympics.

What do you have to do to play your best tennis?
You need to practise every day and work a lot for that. The thing in tennis is it's tough because you don't always play good, but you have a chance almost every week to play your best tennis. I’m really happy with my clay season (14-6 on clay). I think I’m playing really good. I think I have a strong game.

When you do play well on clay, what works well for you?
I serve well usually. I can really put pressure on opponents with my forehand and my backhand. Especially with my backhand, it's really strong, so I can make the game with my backhand and finish with my forehand.

You've got an excellent record when you win the first set - you're 169-40 lifetime. Does your confidence grow when you get off to a good start?
For sure. It's always good to win the first set, especially when you are playing a tough opponent. If you take the first set, it's always good for the rest of the match.

Do you feel as if, even now, you're improving year by year?
Not every year. But this year and the last moments, I just need one or two big match wins again to rise up the [South African Airways ATP] Rankings again and be back in the Top 10. I'm still working for that.

Roland Garros and Wimbledon are coming up. Is this a time of the year, in general, that you like the most?
It's a time of the year I really like because we're playing on clay courts. It's in Europe, so it's more easy travel. I think, I always find something I really like in every tournament. It's always a different place, a different tournament, so there's not one tournament or one moment of the year that I prefer. It's our life to travel and see different cities, and I always find something that I really like and enjoy.

You're going to go into the Olympics with the gold medal. Has the Olympics Games been one of your first thoughts for this year?
Not really, because it's tough to say that the Olympics is going to be my tournament to win. It's going to be tough, a really strong draw. For sure it's an important time of my career, to represent your country, to play Olympics, but the good thing is I already have a gold medal so it's not like I’m running after something, because I already have one. It's something amazing; I can really enjoy the Olympics.

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