‘I still have fire inside me’ – Stan Wawrinka targets comeback at familiar ATP Masters 1000 event
Despite his injury woes, Stan Wawrinka is as motivated as ever and has his eyes set on making an ATP tour comeback at the Monte Carlo Masters next month.
The three-time Slam champion has not played competitively since the 2021 Qatar Open, meaning he has been away from the court for just a week less than a full year now.
He underwent a minor operation on his left foot soon after near the end of March and has been rehabilitating since.
But Wawrinka has not had his optimism dampened by these injury struggles as the 36-year-old looks to make a full return to competition.
“I did full rehabilitation until January 5th and have since returned to the preparation phase,” Wawrinka told L’Equipe.
“And finally, I started tennis again playing 40 minutes on 4th February!
“Since May 2021 I had not touched my racket, apart from three balls against a wall.
“Now, I am much better, I’m working a lot physically to get back.
“I can push hard, but I still have to be careful, I really have to rebuild everything.
“Since this weekend I have embarked on two weeks of “full tennis” (in Monte Carlo) which will tell me a lot more about where I am.
“[I aim to return to play Monte Carlo] or even sooner, plans change quickly.”
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) February 27, 2022
Wawrinka won the 2014 Monte Carlo Masters while ranked third in the world, his only 1000 level triumph to date, defeating compatriot Roger Federer in the final.
Now 36 and turning 37, the 237th ranked Swiss will require a wildcard to play the 2022 event come 9th April.
While his ranking plummet could prove a big barrier to making a full tour comeback, Wawrinka is not returning just to make up the numbers.
“I’m not just getting ready to go back this year and say goodbye at the same time,” he continued to L’Equipe.
“The desire is to rediscover emotions, I still have this flame inside me that makes me love tennis.
“I love to play it, I love to train, I love toughness.
“As long as I have this, I want to continue a little longer, because it is a huge opportunity for me to be a tennis player.
“I’m not done with my chapter on tennis.”
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