Wawrinka to miss Indian Wells
Originally published on 01/03/18 00:00
The 32-year-old, on the comeback trail after a left knee operation last summer, believes further training is required before he attempts to return in time for the European clay-court season, which begins in April.
“I need to announce that I won’t be able to play in Indian Wells or Miami,” said the Swiss in a statement. “They are both amazing events, but coming back from a big surgery is complicated.
‘After playing a few tournaments, I have discussed with my team that it is best for me to build on the progress and go back to practice. I’ve enjoyed being back on tour playing matches and this gives me even more motivation to go back to the practice court.
“My goal is to find my highest level again, and in order to do that, I will keep working hard every single day.”
Wawrinka’s decision to withdraw from the first two Masters events of the season was expected.
The three-time major winner was in discomfort throughout his unexpected first round loss to Tallon Griekspoor in Rotterdam last month – and his problematic left knee remained a concern the following week.
The Swiss retired during his second round match with Ilya Ivashka in Marseille and departed the court close to tears. His mind is willing, but his body is currently letting him down.
Whether further practice will help Wawrinka recapture his fearsome best remains to be seen, but his latest setback is a concern. Despite his ongoing struggles though, he is determined to remain upbeat.
“I need to be patient and give my body the time it needs,” added the 32-year-old. “As of now, my goal is to come back on clay. I love that part of the season and hope to be ready then.”
Wawrinka, who reached the final of Indian Wells last year, is unlikely to be a member of the Top 20 when he does return to action.