Wawrinka wants to add Major tally

Abu Dhabi, December 31

Stan Wawrinka has won more Grand Slams than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal combined over the past two seasons but the Swiss world No 4 insists that adding to his Major tally is a goal that is “too far away”.

Wawrinka, who handed Novak Djokovic his only Grand Slam defeat in 2015 by stunning the world No 1 in the French Open final, will kick off his season in Abu Dhabi at the six-player exhibition Mubadala World Tennis Championship on Friday, but said winning a third career Major was not on his list of goals for 2016.

“It’s been only two years and a half, three years that I’m back in the top 10, that I’m in the top five. Yes I know I won two Grand Slams in two years but it’s still something incredible for me, something not normal, so it’s tough for me to put a goal to win a Grand Slam again,” Wawrinka, 30, told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

“I know how difficult it is, I know the challenge is big. That’s why it’s not my goal. It’s too far away to put that as a goal. My goal is to give me the chance to be at my top in Grand Slams and then I know I can beat the top guys. But for that you need to do all the right things during the year,” added the world No 4.

Wawrinka spent his off season training in Geneva, where he says he worked hard on his body and his tennis, and will officially inaugurate his ATP season in Chennai next week, where he targets a fourth title there. He remains Swiss No 2, behind his third-ranked compatriot Federer, who at 34 is still in peak shape, having made two Grand Slam finals in 2015.

Asked if he sees himself competing at the top level of the sport well into his 30s like Federer, Wawrinka said: “Hopefully yes, hopefully I can play for many more years. But again, I’m going to try to play as much as I can that’s for sure. Where I’ll be in a few years, which ranking, what level? I really don’t know. I will always push myself to be at my top and we’ll see where it will be.” On whether he’ll be teaming up with Federer at the Rio 2016 Olympics in doubles — they won gold together in Beijing 2008 — Wawrinka added: “We don’t know yet. We haven’t decided. We have to talk about the beginning of the year and see what we’re going to do.”