Stan Wawrinka is 7-2 to start the ATP season in 2017 with deep runs at both ATP Brisbane and the 2017 Australian Open. However, Wawrinka still has not contested all that many events, perhaps because he's satisfied at the moment following his substantial pick up of ranking points from Melbourne Park. Nonetheless, Wawrinka did drop 500 ranking points on Monday as his title from Atp Dubai 2016 reached its drop date. The loss of the 500 points is still not very likely to set him up for a ranking slide in the weeks ahead as he approaches a time of year where he can actually gain a lot of points.

Wawrinka will remain the World No. 3 next Monday, however both Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori are not far behind. Raonic is active this week in the ATP Delray Beach draw while Nishikori is top seeded in Rio. Wawrinka's next tournament will come next week at Dubai 2017, a tournament that is loaded with talent. Besides Stan, Andy Murray as well as Roger Federer will be in the draw too. The tournament represents a chance for Wawrinka to gain back the ranking points that he recently lost.

Indian Wells, Miami on horizon

Last year in March, Wawrinka did not do particularly well in either Indian Wells or Miami. In the former he made the round of sixteen and in the latter he fell in the round of sixty-four.

There have been a lot of tournaments played over the last several weeks since the conclusion of the Australian Open. With Wawrinka idle, it could be that he is planning on making a strong move for the titles in either of the Masters Series events that will be played in March. If he should claim one of those tournament's title, or even make just one deep run, then his upcoming time in America would be productive.

Clay-court season coming up

In the broader context, the upcoming months should only be moderately difficult for Wawrinka when it comes to ranking-point defenses. He did not do well last season in either Rome or Madrid. Furthermore, in Monte Carlo he only made the quarterfinals in 2016. If Wawrinka plays anything close to his best tennis between now and Roland Garros then only the strongest players on tour will be taking him out of tournaments. Accordingly, he looks safe to be at least the World No. 3 heading into the 2017 French Open.