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June 11, 2017

Stan Wawrinka

Paris, France

R. NADAL/S. Wawrinka

6-2, 6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions in English.

Q. You had a very nice tournament. Too bad you couldn't play what you wanted today. What went wrong, you think, in the match? The match as you envisioned it before you played in your mind and on the court, what went wrong according to your expected plans?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, I think first his level. He's playing his best level on clay. Five-set match, you know, it's going to be a really tough challenge when you play against him.

I think from the beginning from my side, for sure, I didn't play my best tennis. I think I was a little bit hesitating with my selection of shots. I was always, like, a little bit between for few reasons. One, because I play against him and he puts this doubt in your head when you play against him because he's playing so well. And second, all the effort I have been doing last few weeks to get to my best level again, to get some confidence again, and to win all those matches, some tough matches.

So many reason made that score today, but mainly because he was playing better.

Q. You said before your last two slam finals that you were struck by a lot of nerves and you maybe felt that it could be your last. Just how did you feel going into this against obviously one of the biggest challenges in tennis?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, for sure I was nervous this morning about the match, about the final, about playing against him.

But again, when I enter the court, I enjoy it and I appreciate to be in the final of Grand Slam here in French Open. That's always something special, and you need to see that also from the big picture.

For sure this score wasn't good, the match wasn't good, but at the end of the day there's a lot of positives to take from the last few weeks.

Q. How important was that fourth game or those first four games of the first set where things were really tight and it looked like it might go either way, enough to where he just seemed to race away with the set in the next couple of games?
STAN WAWRINKA: For sure against him, especially if you're not completely free with what you're doing, you don't want him to take the lead and start to play even more aggressive and more free.

But again, at the end of the day, it was three sets. Nothing to say. There is many things I can talk about the game, about what I did, about what he was doing, that I should have done or tried differently, but in the end of the day, I think it's quite clear the score.

Q. If you look at Roland Garros over the last two weeks, the tennis you have played, including beating the World's No. 1 in the semifinal, what's your assessment of your game, particularly over the last two weeks and how that stands you in good stead going into the grass court season?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, for sure it's amazing tournament, for sure. Today and right now, I'm not happy. I'm quite sad to have lost the final.

Doesn't matter who you play, what the score is. You play final of Grand Slam, you don't want to lose. Trust me, I felt better last three times when I was winning and I win trophy of the winner.

There is many, many, many good things. Two weeks or three weeks ago I was really down, not winning matches in Masters 1000, not playing my best tennis, a lot in doubt in my game when I was playing. In three weeks I won Geneva and made final of a Grand Slam, so that's big for me. That's for sure.

But I will need few days to really see that, because it's tough to describe the feeling of losing a Grand Slam final.

Q. You smashed your racquet at the end of the second set. Kept hitting your head several times. Can you just talk us through what you were going through mentally during the game and at the end of that second set?
STAN WAWRINKA: Well, I was trying to find solution. I was trying to play better. I was trying to play the game I wanted to play. I was trying to do something different.

But again, today, as I say, there is not much to talk about the match. I think tough match, tough loss. I played against the biggest clay-court player ever. He won his 10th French Open today, so that's something huge, also.

Q. Would you say that today tennis somehow has been cruel with you in the way nothing went right? Every time you tried a winner, it went out. Rafa, everything in.
STAN WAWRINKA: Not -- I don't know. I think it's a tennis match. Also you're playing against an opponent, playing against someone who is playing better today, who's playing a game that's not easy for me when I'm not completely 100% with my mind and what I want to do.

That's what happen when you play against Rafa. He's a big, big champion. He won so many big title. He's playing so well this year. I'm not the first and not the last to lose against him on clay.

Q. Could you talk a little bit more about Rafa? We saw an incredible performance out there. But as an athlete, what does he impose? What does he take away from you? And this run of 10 titles here, how incredible is that?
STAN WAWRINKA: That's something tough to describe when you just say you won 10 French Open. It's a Grand Slam, but it's the same Grand Slam. That's something so big for the sport.

For sure, when you play against him, he's amazing fighter. On clay he's just tough to play. There is always one ball coming back. There is always spin on the ball. There is always a different bounce that's what the other player make on that surface. He create a doubt that you cannot have if you want to beat him. And on clay especially, because the way he's moving, it's even more difficult.

Q. You had a very tough and very long tennis final. You have played a lot of tennis over the last couple of weeks. Do you think you were a little exhausted for the final? Did that contribute at all to the result?
STAN WAWRINKA: No, honestly I was surprised with my fitness. In the match with Andy, I was feeling great. No problems since the match. I was feeling good today. It's more mental.

As I say, I did a lot of efforts last few weeks to get to my best level. Not only French Open but also Geneva. I had to find really inside the way how to play my best tennis again, and I did it really well.

I think today, if you play Rafa, if you're not completely free with what you think and what you're gonna do and not completely relaxed the way you're gonna play, you have no chance. That's what happened today.

Q. Today you played against Rafa. Probably you saw part of his other matches during the last two weeks. Have you ever seen him playing the way he played this year?
STAN WAWRINKA: No. For sure he's playing the best he's ever played. That's for sure. But not only here. I think since the beginning of the year, you can see he's playing more aggressive, staying more close from the line. But that's clearly his best he ever play. That's why he's winning so much again.

THE MODERATOR: Questions in French.

Q. You played against Rafa winning the 10th title here at the French Open. Can you compare 10 titles at the French Open and 18 Grand Slam tournaments like Roger? Can you tell me if there is one player who is more impressive than the other?
STAN WAWRINKA: Nothing to compare. I mean, these are two great players. They have managed to achieve good records. I don't like comparing players, so I don't mind, I mean, who has done the most difficult thing in tennis. They are still playing, so we shouldn't compare.

So we don't know exactly what will be the end of the story. We will see at the end of their careers for both.

Q. Despite your disappointment, what are the takeaways from this tournament? What are the positives from this tournament? Things that will help you in the future?
STAN WAWRINKA: Lots of positives. Reaching the final, this is a feat. This is something unbelievable. So I defeated the World No. 1 in five sets. I was able to produce good matches before the French Open. I won the Geneva tournament.

So the past three weeks I have played quite well. I managed to post convincing victories. Mentally I was positive. I managed to hold on. I managed to back it up. Once again, I felt confident in order to beat the best players in the world.

Q. How did you feel physically, fitness-wise, during the match? We were under the impression that you couldn't move the legs as usual, you couldn't find the right position on court.
STAN WAWRINKA: Physically or fitness-wise, I mean, I felt great. I recovered from Andy's match.

But it's a mental thing. Everything is connected. If I hesitate in my mind, my legs will follow suit. That's what happened today.

When you play against Rafa, if you hesitate, it's no good. If you hesitate for half a second, it's too late. You will be late. You will hesitate and you will backpedal. So physically I felt good, but mentally it was tough.

Q. You have talked about doubts when you play against Nadal. What kinds of doubts? Doubts in terms of the selection of shots, to hit the ball flat or with power? What can you tell me?
STAN WAWRINKA: Roger and Rafa, they are very good. With them, you hesitate. Even though I have a game plan, even though I know what I have to do, there is always some hesitation in your mind.

From time to time I was saying, Am I going to go for it? I'm going to dig the ball.

So this is something that is very difficult to control. And if you miss a ball, if you hit a ball short, I mean, they will attack you. Against these big players, this is the most difficult thing to control.

When you play against them, you have to go for your shots and you shouldn't think too much.

Q. Another topic. You will be working with a new coach?
STAN WAWRINKA: I want to progress, to make strides. I'm very happy with my team, with Magnus, with Pierre, Yannick. I mean, all the people who are around me. But we had some discussions in order to get a new vision, to get another view of my game.

So that's why we have decided to turn to Paul who has a lot of experience, and I hope that I will be in the right direction.

Q. At the US Open, you said that you were almost panicking. What was your state of mind during the final?
STAN WAWRINKA: I was jittery. Not as bad as the US Open, because I won Roland Garros already. So if I had lost, it wouldn't have been a big deal.

But I was nervous. A lot of stress, a lot of tension, lots of doubts in my mind, lots of thoughts in my mind, what should I do, what should not I do. But when I stepped on the court, when I looked at the crowd, when I got my bearings, I was no longer nervous. I was eager to play the match.

Q. So you have talked about the level of play of Rafa. Were you surprised by his backhand or did you expect such a match against Rafa?
STAN WAWRINKA: This is what I expected with Rafa. We have seen him play from the start of the year on clay, Australia, in other tournaments. Rafa is really fit. He's aggressive. He's good. His level of play is unbelievable.

So I expected to play Rafa with such a high level, true, but there's nothing to say. He was really good today, better than me. High level of tennis.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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