Stanislas Wawrinka is confident he can overcome the pressure of playing at home and enjoy a good run in the Swiss Indoors at the St. Jakobshalle.
The 30-year-old has been in decent form this season and he added a second Grand Slam title to his collection by defeating world number one Novak Djokovic in the French Open.
Three more triumphs have been recorded this year, with success in the Chennai, Rotterdam and Japan Opens, and many are predicting more glory to come.
However, his recent performances in the tournament in Basel have been poor, with Wawrinka losing in the first round of the event in each of the last three years.
The Swiss star is hoping to avoid the same fate this time around, but he faces a difficult challenge against the big-serving Croatian Ivo Karlovic first up on Wednesday.
Wawrinka admits playing in front of your home fans can add some extra pressure but he is confident of going a long way in the competition and start off in a better fashion.
He said: “It’s never easy to find my best tennis here, it’s quite difficult for me, and yes, it’s a challenge for myself to find a way to play my best tennis. Hopefully this year I can do that.”
The world number four is the firm favourite at 1.40 to advance into the second round while Karlovic is a 2.75 shot to spring what would be a shock result.
Former US Open champion Marin Cilic is also in action on the same day and the 27-year-old is priced at 1.02 to defeat Marco Chiudinelli, who is 13.00 to upset the odds.