Stan Wawrinka has credited his fans for their relentless support across tournaments. He believes it has been a major factor in his motivation to extend his time on the ATP Tour.
Wawrinka, a former French Open champion, commenced his campaign at Roland Garros this year with a first-round match against Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Monday (May 29). The Swiss veteran narrowly avoided an upset as he battled his way to a five set 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-7 (2), 1-6, 6-4 win over Ramos-Vinolas.
During the post match press conference, Stan Wawrinka stated that the fans in the arena played a major role in helping him fight till the end.
"I think it was special today again to be here, a lot of support, a lot of fans here. It's help me a lot today to stay in the match and to keep fighting for it," he said.
Further elaborating, he claimed that the fans' support has been one of the main reasons for his drive to continue playing on the tour.
"I always try to make it special, try to have a connection with the people, with the fans, because as I say, it's one of the main reasons why I keep playing and I want to enjoy as much as possible," Wawrinka continued. "So if I can stay five more minutes on court, I will do it."
He also commended the atmosphere that the fans always create at the French Open.
"It's to play those big tournaments like here, to have such amazing atmosphere. On Court 14 over there is always going to be special for me to play here at the French Open. I have so many support and give me a lot of emotion to win those matches," he added.
Wawrinka will next face Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round on Wednesday, May 31. This will be their first-ever meeting on the tour.
"Always going to be special to be back here" - Stan Wawrinka on playing at the French Open
Harking back to his title triumph at the 2015 French Open, Stan Wawrinka stated that it is always special to play at Roland Garros.
"I won here many years ago, but as I say, it just was a long time ago. I was much younger and playing different tennis, but always going to be special to be back here and always have that memory about 2015," the Swiss said.
Wawrinka defeated Novak Djokovic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in the 2015 final to win the title.