Wawrinka ‘feeling really positive’

Stan Wawrinka will make his long-awaited comeback this week when he takes part in an exhibition event, saying he is eager to get back on the court.

The three-time Grand Slam winner hasn’t played any competitive tennis since he was knocked out in the first round at Wimbledon at the end of June. He called an early end to his 2017 season as he underwent knee surgery in August.

There were doubts over his participation in the Australian Open, but tournament director Craig Tiley has allayed those fears.

“There’s been a lot of questions and in fact this is the first time publicly in six months that he’s said anything, so we are excited that he agreed to come here and do it with the ball kids,” Tiley said.

Wawrinka will return to action on Wednesday when he takes part in the Tie Break Tens event in Melbourne, but he is likely to be undercooked for the Australian Open, which starts on Monday.

“I’m really, really happy to be back on the tour and seeing the sun,” he said.

“For me, the first thing is to play a match, to play a tennis match again. It’s been many months out of the tour. It’s not always the best when you are an athlete so I’m looking forward to it, enjoying the crowd.

“Still a lot to do but I’m feeling really positive so looking forward to starting.”