Murray, Djokovic tough to catch says Wawrinka
LONDON: Stan Wawrinka admits Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic have set such high standards that he doesn’t even think about moving above them in the world rankings.
Murray ended Djokovic’s 122-week reign as world number one last weekend and the Scot is determined to outshine the Serb at the ATP Tour Finals next week to ensure he finishes 2016 in pole position.
As the world number three, Wawrinka is the closest rival to the sport’s big two and he arrives at London’s O2 Arena on a high after being crowned US Open champion in September.
But, despite winning a Grand Slam title in each of the last three years, the 31-year-old Swiss star’s points tally of 5,115 is more than doubled by Murray’s 11,185 and Djokovic’s 10,780.
The remarkable consistency of the Murray and Djokovic makes Wawrinka believe is it almost impossible for him to ever become number one.
“I’ve been winning Grand Slams but I’m still really far from number one so that’s why I don’t think about that,” Wawrinka told reporters in London.
“Andy and Novak have more than double the points and are so consistent getting to the final of every event.
“I’m really happy where I am right now. Three Grand Slams in three years was something I never expected.”
Wawrinka was quick to pay tribute to Murray for his surge to the top in the second half of 2016 and he believes the Wimbledon champion is good enough to hold onto the prized place in the long term.
“It’s amazing what’s hes doing right now with his consistency and how he keeps winning,” Wawrinka said.
“He deserves completely to be number one, It’s not just the last few months. It’s about the last 10 years and how he’s pushed.
“He’s been near the top trying to win as much as he can.
“For sure it’s good for tennis. We all like Andy. He’s a really nice guy off the court.
“It’s going to be interesting to see who finishes this year at number one because he is close with Novak, but for sure he can keep that level.”
After reaching the semi-finals of the Tour Finals for the last three years, Wawrinka would love to go one better this year.
He faces a tough group with Murray, Marin Cilic and Kei Nishikori, who provides his first opponent on Monday in a rematch of the US Open semi-final won by Wawrinka earlier this year.
“He’s a tough player. He’s playing fast and trying to put a lot of pressure,” Wawrinka said of Nishikori.
“It’s important to stay heavy and push him back. You have to win the physical battle if you can. It’s going to be a good first match.
“I want to finish the year well, I always enjoy to play here. It’s an amazing tournament.
“For me it was always a dream to be play in the Tour Finals. I’m so happy to be back.”