roger federer stan wawrinka
Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka are both from Switzerland Getty

Stan Wawrinka returns to the location of one of the greatest triumphs in his career so far, the courts of Roland Garros. The Swiss international was sensational on clay last year beating Novak Djokovic to win his second grand slam title of his career.

His performances on the court have led to many tennis lovers affectionately calling him 'Stan the Man' but the defending French Open Champion has revealed that he prefers another nickname which was given by tennis legend and fellow countryman Roger Federer.

"My favourite nickname? Stanimal makes me laugh. It conveys the aggressive dimension of my game, I put the physical into everything I do, knowing that I can go the distance in long matches," as quoted by newsaustralia.

"It's Roger Federer who first came up with that on Twitter during the Australian Open in 2014. Sometimes he calls me that."

The nickname is apt for a man who has improved considerably over time. He has taken his game to another level in the past two years. It was not all rosy for Wawrinka as he struggled early on in his career. It was only in 2013 that he made his presence felt on the world stage, reaching the quarter-final of the US Open.

Despite being the defending champion, the World No 4 has tipped current World No 1 Novak Djokovic as the favourite to win the crown while agreeing that he can go far in the tournament.

"I can go deep. I know that, but I'll have to try and keep my focus to get started. Novak is the favourite, for sure. It was the case last year. It's going to be very difficult to beat him. Then there is Murray and Nadal on equal footing. Then I'm just after them. Just after."