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Wawrinka cautious, but optimistic

Cheni, Jan 5: World No.4 and top seed here at the Aircel Cheni Open Stanislas Wawrinka hedged his bets on retaining the title that he won last year prior to winning the Australian Open.

This being the first tourment of the season, the 29–year–old Swiss was obviously cautious about his chances, though he said he was as ready for the challenges ahead as he could be.

"I am ready for the new year. Everything is going well for me for this new season so far. I will try to do my best and see what I can do throughout the year," said Wawrinka at a media conference here on Monday.

Obviously, all his preparations in the coming weeks are geared towards the Australian Open in Melbourne (Jan 19–Feb 1).

"It is beginning of the year and we will see. I have my own plans. I hope I can win some matches here and get some wins before going into Australian Open. I am focused to get ready for this one and the Australian Open comes after this," said Wawrinka, who is aiming to become the first player to win three Cheni Open singles titles.

Looking ahead to his first round match against Croatia’s 17–year–old Bor Coric, Wawrinka expected a tough match that needed some planning. "He is a good player. He is young and has been playing well after some wins last year. It is going to be a tough match. We will see how things pan out for me since I am also playing doubles," said Wawrinka.

Looking back on the 2014 season, Wawrinka spoke with obvious pride and satisfaction, especially since he helped Switzerland win the Davis Cup for the first time in the company of Roger Federer.

"Last year was amazing for me. I had won a lot of big matches and the Davis Cup for my country. I could not expect more, that is for sure. Finishing World No.4 is amazing and something that I never did before.

"Again, as I said, it is a new year. Everybody is starting from zero. I plan my schedule for the whole year and try to score some big wins," he said.

Wawrinka brushed aside his reported verbal clash with Federer at the year–ending Masters in London in November, saying all that mattered was the two winning the Davis Cup.

"We finished the year together by winning the Davis Cup title and also we played exhibition matches in Zurich. So, I do not think anything else is important," he said. "For me, winning the Davis cup was important. During the last 10 years, I have been playing for my country. I am very proud to do it. Roger and the other team members had great feelings winning the Davis Cup." IANS

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Ankur Kalita

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