Tennis-Fit-Again Wawrinka hopes to Fight on after Return to Top 100
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru;
Editing by Christopher Cushing
INDIAN WELLS, California (Reuters) – Three-times Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka said his niggling injury problems were finally behind him after quarter-final runs in Rotterdam and Marseille catapulted him back into the top 100 in the world rankings.
Wawrinka, 37, returned to the tennis circuit in March 2022 after more than a year on the sidelines following two operations on his left foot.
The Swiss veteran had said after his first-round U.S. Open exit that he was getting closer to hanging up his racket but he was a lot more optimistic after battling past Aleksandar Vukic 6-4 1-6 6-1 at Indian Wells on Thursday.
“I’ve been practising good so I’m feeling physically and tennis-wise good. Happy to get the win, it’s an important match and hopefully I can keep going,” former world number three Wawrinka told reporters after his first-round victory.
Wawrinka said re-entering the top 100 was an important step in his progress.
“It was … for sure, after being out for so long from surgery, after struggling to come back, to get in shape again physically, to feel good tennis-wise,” Wawrinka said.
“To be back in the top 100 is always an important number. Of course I want to keep going up in the rankings. Hopefully I can also be seeded in Grand Slams and these (ATP Masters 1000) events. We’ll see.”
“Week after week, I think in general the level is there so hopefully I can keep winning many matches this year.“
Wawrinka will play 26th seed Miomir Kecmanovic next.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing)