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‘Love playing in Chennai ’

Calcutta: Stanislas Wawrinka is keen to start 2014 with a bang. The Swiss world No. 8 wants a repeat of 2011, when he started the year by winning Chennai Open.

The 28-year-old, who is a regular at Chennai Open and will be playing in the event for sixth consecutive year, feels a good start can really prepare him for the tougher battles ahead.

“I have great memories from 2011 when I won the singles event. Last year, too, I won the doubles title with my friend Benoit (Paire of France). I love playing at Chennai Open and love preparing for the tournament. I’m looking forward to being back and hope that I can make another strong appearance,” Wawrinka said in a release.

The tournament starts from December 30 to January 5.

Wawrinka said he was looking forward to his stay in Chennai and enjoy his favourite chicken tikka masala, which he eats almost every day when he is in Chennai. “People are very friendly in India. You always feel welcome and very well treated,” he said.

Wawrinka had a great 2013 as he qualified for the ATP World Tour Finals, giving a tough fight to leading players. He reached the semi-finals of the season finale in his debut, even though he fell to eventual champion Novak Djokovic.

Talking about 2013, he said: “If you look at my results at the Grand Slams in Melbourne, Paris and New York, 2013 was definitely an outstanding year.

“My matches against Novak in Melbourne and New York were two of the most spectacular encounters in 2013. They showed me how close I am to the top guys and that I have my chances against them.

“I’m proud of how I played those matches and even if I lost I learnt a lot. You always have to keep fighting, work hard every day and believe in your chances,” he said.

Full of confidence and hope, Wawrinka said while he respected players at the top, he felt he could give them a good fight. “They are consistent. Rafa, Novak and Andy have all won at least one Grand Slam and played many finals, something that I’m still hoping to achieve one day. I’m confident going into 2014.”