Stan Wawrinka: Novak Djokovic Is The Big Favorite To Win The French Open
by Tom Gainey | May 9th, 2016, 9:54 am

Stan Wawrinka is two weeks away from opening his French Open title defense. The Swiss, though, has his list of favorites, and he puts the man he beat in the 4-set final, Novak Djokovic, at the top of the list.

“I see Novak, for sure, the favorite, as last year,” Wawrinka said in Rome. “I think he’s going to be tough to beat. He’s going to be the big favorite. Then I would put Murray and Rafa. Rafa is starting to get back some confidence. He’s playing better. Murray is playing extremely well since few years now especially on clay. Last year he won Madrid. Now he’s in the final again.”

Wawrinka comes into Rome after a tough stretch. He hasn’t beaten a Top 10 player on the season is just 4-4 since his Dubai title. But he reminded the press he wasn’t playing well at this time a year ago.

“Last year I was struggling with my game before here,” Wawrinka said. ‘I was starting only here to practice a little bit better, to find some level. I wasn’t playing great tennis. I start little by little to play better and better in Rome, Geneva, and then in Paris.

“This year I’m just feeling really good in practice. I think I’m playing well. That’s why I know that if I keep pushing myself the rest will come sooner or later. I don’t know when, but I know that my level is there.”

Wawrinka begins in Rome against his friend Benoit Paire. Last year he beat Rafael Nadal the quarterfinals before losing the Roger Federer.

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6 Comments for Stan Wawrinka: Novak Djokovic Is The Big Favorite To Win The French Open

SG1 Says:

There were some frighteningly poor points played by Rafa in Madrid on Saturday. I think he missed three overheads, bounce one forehand into the ground before it hit the net and did the same with one backhand as well…all in one match. And all these things happened in one match and a lot of these flubs happened on big points. It’s disconcerting to say the least.

Hopefully he can right things in Rome.

SG1 Says:

BTW…I do agree with Stan. Novak is the clear favorite in Paris. Which is not say that Stan couldn’t beat him in a re-match. But that re-match seems unlikely as Stan blows so hot and cold. Stan on fire can beat anyone in the world. A cold Stan can lose to just about anyone in the top 50.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

SG1, agree with both posts. I do think Stan will be in the mix in Week Two, but beating Novak AGAIN at a Slam? He would be a legend if he can pull it off.

I like Novak, then Rafa, then Stan, then Andy.
Of the latter three, I think Rafa is LEAST likely to beat Novak, so the draw is most important for him.
The odds of someone else winning are negligible.
All predictions are considered valid and trustworthy up till the moment they are not.

gonzalowski Says:

Agree with Stan, Nole favourite.
Nadal is still weak I think. Maybe Paris’ clay will help.
Nishikori could be a factor too, couldn’t he?

I attended the Nole-Nishi SF at Madrid (I didn’t find a buyer for my ticket, as I intended to see Nadal but got the wrong SF ticket), but anyway I didn’t like it, a lot of ‘posh’ people in the crowd, wanting to be watched…

ulysses Says:

@gonzalowski yeah I watched Fed play Nadal live as well and totally agree with you about the crowd. But then most European tournaments seem that way. Except maybe Barcelona, which is more clubby (I.e. Pure tennis fans but even this has its snob-gate perils).

I won’t ever forget being one of only like 10 people watching Venus and Serena practice at madrid in 2010. Everyone else in their white pants and champaigne glasses inside doing whatever I don’t know. It was rather sad.

ulysses Says:

Fed/nadal semi in 2010 madrid that is

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