Stan Wawrinka concedes he’s far from his top fitness, but vows to fight in his Monte-Carlo return.
Wild card Wawrinka takes on Alexander Bublik at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Monday.
It will be Wawrinka’s first Monte-Carlo match since he lost to Marco Cecchinato in the 2019 third round.
The 37-year-old Swiss was sidelined for a year after undergoing left foot surgery. Wawrinka made his 2022 debut in Marbella last week losing to Elias Ymer 6-2, 6-4. Wawrinka said he’s pleased with his progress in practice, but needs match play to elevate his level.
“I thought I would be only a few weeks out. It lasted a whole year with many moments of doubts,” Wawrinka said. “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.
“Of course I’m far from being as fit as I want to. I need to work a lot physically and tennis-wise too. But this happens with tournaments, with matches, but I also am happy to be at that level right now compared to when I started playing again.”
The 2014 Monte-Carlo champion vows to bring the fight to the site where he often practices.
“I’m always in a fight. Even in Marbella I was in a fight,” Wawrinka said. “I need to play matches and tournaments and go through this. I can play well during practice and win many sets in practice. But we’ll see what happens tomorrow.
“I will fight. I don’t know if I’m going to play well or I can’t know beforehand. Even when you’re totally fit, you don’t know what is going to happen.”