Stan Wawrinka news: After ‘many moments of doubts’, Swiss vows to be patient on return

Stan Wawrinka pointing

He initially thought he would be out of action for “only a few weeks”, but Stan Wawrinka ended up being sidelined for more than a year so naturally he is delighted about his impending ATP Tour comeback.

The three-time Grand Slam winner last featured in a top-level match in March 2021 as he underwent a “small procedure” on his left foot after his exit from the Qatar Open.

“I will be out for a few weeks but can’t wait to start practicing again soon,” he wrote on social media at the time and everything seemed to be going according to plan in the first few weeks as he was back training in May.

However, he had to undergo a second operation in June and he was forced to miss another nine months of action.

He finally made his return to action at the ATP Challenger tournament in Marbella at the end of March, but will now look to step it up at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Wawrinka admits he had his doubts about returning.

“[It is] not a miracle, I wouldn’t say that, but it was very long and difficult, more than a year,” he said.

“I thought I would be [out] only a few weeks. It lasted a whole year with many moments of doubts. It was extremely long and tough.

“I really needed to have the willpower to come back, to have the strength to go through rehab and everything, and I’m very happy to be here now.”

He added: “Of course there were those questions in my mind. I was afraid things wouldn’t happen the way I wanted them to happen, and when you have those difficult times and those doubts, you know you need to go through rehab to be able to live a normal daily life anyway.

“So in my mind, one way or the other, I knew I would want to come back. Maybe saying goodbye, having pain would be an option, but for the time being things are going well.

“I can practise a lot, which is good. I hope I’ll be able to do that the whole year.”

Wawrinka, who has dropped to outside the world top 200, will face world No 37 Alexander Bublik in the first round of the ATP Masters 1000 tournament on Monday.

“Mainly what I need is practise with the best players, [to] practise a lot. I only started playing again at the end of the month of February, so I don’t have a lot of tennis under my belt,” the 37-year-old said.

“I have to go through this. My level is pretty good in practice, but of course I need to find also my game during matches. The puzzle is a bit complicated. Sometimes you need time before you are able to coordinate all this.

“So I need to be patient with myself. I need to try to do the right things and practise a lot and stay positive, even if sometimes I feel very frustrated, because I can see what I need to do and I can’t do it.”