Melbourne - Defending Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka had a dream season in 2014 but said on Sunday he was starting from scratch again this year, refusing to nominate himself as a tournament favourite.
The Swiss star jumped through the rankings to end the year
as world number four with a 39-17 match record, not only winning his maiden
Grand Slam but also helping his home nation claim the Davis Cup.
He said it had been unbelievable time, but was now in the
"It was a crazy 2014 for me, winning a Grand Slam,
Masters 1000, finishing with the Davis Cup trophy," said the 29-year-old,
who fronted a press conference wearing a "Stan the Man" t-shirt.
"That's something amazing as a tennis player, something
that you can only dream about it. For sure it changed a lot.
"Finishing number four, I'm really, really happy with
"But now it's a new year. Everybody starts at zero
again. You have to be ready to play great all the year."
Wawrinka stunned Rafael Nadal to win the Australian Open
decider last year, also upsetting three-time Novak Djokovic in the
Adding spice to his achievement was that he supplanted Roger
Federer as the number one ranked Swiss player, a position his close friend had
occupied since 2001.
Federer has since reclaimed his pedestal and he is one of
the players Wawrinka sees as the champion this year, although he cited Djokovic
as the favourite.
"I will still put Rafa, Novak and Roger as the favourite
of the tournament. Maybe a bit more Novak," he said, despite Nadal
recovering from injury.
"Then you have to see. I still think that Rafa, if he
get through the first week, then he's going to be really dangerous.
"It's not about his game, it's more about the
confidence he gets after few months out.
"It's going to be interesting I think because you also
have the young generation who is there trying to win a Grand Slam. I think it's
going to be an exciting Australian Open."
While happy to finger who he thinks could win the title,
Wawrinka is not ready to put himself among them, despite starting his season in
perfect fashion by winning the Chennai Open for a second straight year.
"I feel great coming here. Been getting a lot of
confidence, winning the first tournament of the year," he said.
"(But) I'm not focused on that. I'm not putting my goal
to win a Grand Slam.
"I know I can do it, that's not the question. But it's
a long way for that.
"For me the most important is to be ready for the first
match. I know how is it. I've been playing since so many years to know the
deal. You have to be ready, take match after match, and see where you can
He has a seemingly straightforward first round clash with Turkey's
Marsel Ilhan on Tuesday and faces a potential semi-final encounter with world
number one Djokovic.
Since his breakthrough year, Wawrinka has been enjoying his
new-found fame, particularly his nickname "Stan the Man".
"Since last year, there are lot of nicknames," he
"But 'Stan the Man' is the one coming back most of the
time since many years already. Yeah, I quite like it."