Today morning, Sonntagszeitung posted an interview of Stanislas Wawrinka taken by Rene Stauffer(the world renowned author of Roger Federer's autobiography "Quest for Perfection").
Stanislas Wawrinka explains how he was able to establish himself alongside the superstar Federer and what goals he has set himself while working with Magnus Norman (his new coach), playing in Davis Cup and if he expects Roger Federer to play the Davis Cup world group play-off in September, 2013.
The interview in German & you can read the full German interview here.
Here is my English translated interview (not a word by word translation but best effort has been made to cover every sentence to make it as meaningful as possible).
How is your first week of training run with the Swede Magnus Norman?
We trained four days at Lausanne, got to know us and discussed a lot. The start was really good. He is a motivator, a positive person & as a coach knows what qualities does a good tennis player needs. After all, he was once the world No. 2.
How did you get him?
I knew him even when he was still playing and met him occasionally when he was coach of Robin Soderling, with whom I trained often. I tried to approach him for over a year, but it finally worked now.
What special qualities Norman has, that Peter Lundgren, your last coach did not have?
He is of a different type and has a different experience than Lundgren, but I do not want to compare the two. I am convinced that he can bring a lot out of me - on the court. For this purpose he has to see me play in tournaments. He will be in Madrid, Rome and Paris also.
You are now 28, have got off to a strong start to the season and now a new coach. How do you see the rest of the season?
I have started the season really well, kept up with with Djokovic, who then won the Australian Open, was close to Roger Federer (at Indian Wells) and then defeated Murray (at Monte Carlo Masters). My level is up there. Though, lack a bit of consistency in order to get to the top, to win tournaments. I am in a good momentum, and the right time to get back to work with someone (as experienced as Norman). Norman can point those minute details and errors and that surely can make a big difference.
More specific: What would be important for you to get back into the Top 10 or reach a Grand Slam semi-final, perhaps even qualifying at the ATP Tour Finals?
I have been ranked between 15 and 20 for the last many years and I know that reaching the top 10 is near me. A good tournament, everything can change, then the ATP World Tour finals can be a target.
So I can't say if I want to end the year in 9th or 10th, But I would really like to win a tournament again, which I did not manage last year, and to get closer to the top 10. I will try everything to have the best possible chance to continue to come up.
In an interview with "Le Matin" You said the coach had to be the boss on the court. How should this be interpreted? Players should be the puppet of their coach?
Not at all, especially since I'm not as young and have lots of experience. What I meant to say: In tennis, the situation is special because the players pay the coach. Therefore, the coaches are often not as strong and hard enough to always say what they think. I expect from my coach that he is always sincere and says what he thinks - not what I want to hear. I am convinced that this is the case with Norman. Because he did not need this job, because he has so much else to do, and has already achieved a lot in life.
Norman has a tennis academy with two other former professionals in Sweden. You will now pratice more often there?
It could be that I will be training there for a few weeks, but we still need to look at.
How do you summarize your good start to the 2013 season?
I have more experience, have grown older and calmer. I have also worked well in the past few months - and was also lucky that Severin (Luthi) helped me.
Your five set loss to Djokovic in Melbourne described by many as the best game of the season so far. What it has brought you?
There were an enormous number of reactions. And this game also gave me the belief that I can beat the best in the biggest tournaments. I reached a level like never before, and against the world No. 1. This shows me what I am capable.
After the victory in Monte Carlo against Murray, many people expected you to beat Tsonga.
I was also hoping for. But to come back after a big success and to play against a top 10 player like Tsonga, who moreover knows me very well, is not easy. And he also played well. Still, it was a good week for me. The next step should be, I do well (possibly beat) more than one top-10 players at the same tournament. That would mean that I will reach the semi-finals or even the finals.
A magazine once described you as "invisible Second." (of Swiss Tennis). But now, you're out in public & have presence in advertising media than before. Agree?
I think so. My career has evolved, people have realized that I am a solid top-20 player who has been always there for ten years in the Davis Cup. For this I am lucky that I support good companies and brands.
What do you think of Facebook and Twitter that you use often?
I find it amusing and enthusiastic, to have this kind of contact with the fans. I also get a lot of comments and messages there. I can show a different side of me than TV pictures or newspaper articles can - something private, but to be truly private without. I try to be humorous to show specific images (which I tend to re-tweet or share). But there are days when I have no desire, then I let it stay.
Where do most of your fans reside? Are they From German-speaking Switzerland, French speaking or through out the world?
They are spread over the whole world. In Switzerland Twitter is anyway not so common.
Do you think that you have now established themselves in addition to Roger Federer? You seem to have found your place, even (as reported) criticized him for having missed the Davis Cup against the Czech Republic.
Yes, I am very comfortable in his shadow. But this has to do with the fact that I generally feel very good in my life. I have developed, have grown in my life. My nature is to say what I think. Of course it was not always easy to be behind Federer. But it was also a great opportunity, to be (playing) with the best tennis player in history. I am happy with myself and that my career in going on at right pace and I want to give back now to the tennis and the (Swiss Davis Cup team) boys.
How important would it be that Federer would be there in the playoffs against Ecuador in September (in the World Group Play-offs)?
I and the entire team hope that he plays, that would be great. But in my opinion we need to beat Ecuador without him, or else we do not deserve to belong (to the levels) of the World Group.
You have also signed up with a new agency, Star Wing sports recently. Were you dissatisfied with Lagardère?
No, I wanted to keep my agent. Francopan Lawrence, with whom I've been working for years - (was earlier at IMG) - who directs this (new) company.
You are also part of a campaign against high speeding (& seat belt campaign) - doing it means you would also slow up...
It is said like that only... (laughs) (referring to the ad campaign)...I have always been a big fan of cars and dream to drive a sports car on a race track. But if I can help to provide more safety in traffic I am willing to do this even without any money. After the Vaud Cantonal Police contacted me, I immediately said yes to this campaign .