Under radar Wawrinka happy to discuss the F-word

Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:05am EST
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By Greg Stutchbury

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - For someone who is the defending champion at Melbourne Park, Stan Wawrinka is remarkably upbeat about the lack of focus falling upon him.

The 29-year-old Swiss advanced to the fourth round of this year's Australian Open with a comfortable 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over Finland's Jarkko Nieminen on Saturday and what most people wanted to ask him was 'what about Federer?'

"Go for it. Roger?," a grinning Wawrinka said in his post-match media conference when one journalist broached the F-word.

"Roger lost yesterday. Yeah, there's a lot of question over that. How did he play? How did he feel? If I talk to him today? Just tell me what you want to know," he said laughing.

Wawrinka had watched most of Federer's match against the 46th-ranked Andreas Seppi on Friday and like virtually everyone else in the tennis world had been surprised at his shock loss.

"It was a surprise, for sure," he said. "I watched... big part of the match.

"I think Seppi was playing really well, playing really flat like he can play and Roger was not feeling great on the court. You could see (that) but it was a big surprise for everybody."

Wawrinka, sporting a red and white 'Stan The Man' T-shirt, which he said he is happy to sell to anyone who wants one, has spent his entire career in Federer's massive shadow.   Continued...

Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland stretches to hit a return to Jarkko Nieminen of Finland during their men's singles third round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 24, 2015.  REUTERS/Thomas Peter