Stan 'the Man' not daring to dream at Melbourne Park

Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:24pm EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - One of the first orders of business for Stan Wawrinka on his return to Melbourne Park last week was to see the photo of himself holding the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup on the 'Walk of Champions' under the Rod Laver Arena centre court.

His second order of business was to banish any thoughts of holding another.

Winning the Australian Open was dream-like for the Swiss, and for most pundits incapable of imagining the Big Four's stranglehold on the grand slams might be broken so soon.

Twelve months later, Wawrinka is reluctant to reminisce and even less willing to imagine defending his hard-won title.

"I'm not focused on that," he told reporters at Melbourne Park on the eve of the year's first grand slam.

"I'm not putting my goal to win a grand slam. I know I can do it, that's not the question. But it's a long way for that.

"For me, most important is to be ready for the first match. I know how it is. I've been playing so many years to know the deal.

"You have to be ready, take match after match, and see where you can go."   Continued...

Defending Australian Open men's champion Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland reacts during a training session on Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne Park January 18, 2015. REUTERS/Issei Kato