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May 11, 2022

Stan Wawrinka

Roma, Italia

Press Conference


7-6, 3-6, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How did you feel out there today? How do you look ne ahead to the one against Novak?

STAN WAWRINKA: Yeah, was tough battle, that's for sure. Amazing atmosphere. Great to play those match. That's exactly what I need. Was feeling in general great. Like I'm happy with the fight, I'm happy what I've done, the way I finish.

As I say, I need those match. I need the competition. You cannot practice that feeling. You cannot practice that feeling of nerves, stress, the way you feel during the match, the way the body reacts. It was a bit up and down with my body, but I finish really strong. Was feeling much better at the end. I'm happy with that win.

Q. And Novak?

STAN WAWRINKA: Novak, it's going to be tough, a tough challenge for sure. As I say, I'm not where I want to be yet. I need match. I need practice. I need spend time in the fitness. It's a good challenge to play him, of course.

I don't think I'm ready to play at that level yet, but it's going to be interesting to see. I need to get through those matches the next few months.

Q. I know this wasn't a final or anything, but do these matches mean more to you at this stage because of everything you've done to get back here? Do you find yourself drawing strength from that at all?

STAN WAWRINKA: Of course, it means a lot to get those win, those match, those tough match on that great court. I love it. It's amazing atmosphere to play here. It's always been special. A lot of support. That's a big reason why I'm still playing is to play those match with the fans like that.

Again, I'm super happy. I'm looking forward for tomorrow. It's going to be a really difficult challenge. It's going to be, yeah, a tough challenge to play against Novak, No. 1 player in the world.

I doubt I'm where I want to be yet to play at that level. It's going to be really difficult. But in the same times, I need to get through those matches to test myself and see what I still need to improve.

Q. I know there was obviously the break you took because of physical injury reasons. There's been a trend of more players taking breaks to focus on mental health, reset. Did your break have any benefits towards your mentality, maybe stopping some of the exhaustion from a long career on the tour?

STAN WAWRINKA: No, I don't think the one-year break helped me mentally to be back today. I know how tennis works. I've been there for many years. I know how difficult is it mentally to be playing week after week. It's really challenging.

I had a lot of down during my career, especially after big wins. It's always been really difficult mentally to deal with that. But in the same time, as I always say, I think I'm privileged and I'm really lucky to be playing tennis, to have that life. I try to always see something positive in every situation. I think I've been doing it well.

Was a tough year, that's for sure. Again, I'm happy to be back. I'm happy to be playing. I know why I'm fighting. I know why I'm practicing. It's to live those moments, to live those great emotion on the court.

I'm looking forward to keep doing that during the year.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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