‘The fire is still there’ declares Stan Wawrinka as he looks to push on from ATP comeback win
Following his first ATP tour level win in over a year, Stan Wawrinka has spoken on the drive he still has despite his age and difficulties coming back from injury.
The 37-year-old downed world number 17 Reilly Opelka to reach the second round of the Italian Open and land his first tour level victory since February 2021.
Currently 361st in the ATP rankings, Wawrinka is looking to rebuild his position on the men’s ladder and get back to clinching big results on the tour.
He said after the win: “In general, I think it was a great match, a great battle.
“I stayed positive, started to feel much better with my tennis by the end of the second set, and in the third set.
“I’m really happy with this victory.”
Given his age and struggles with injury and surgery, fans could well have expected the Swiss to retire during his time away from competition.
However, Wawrinka added after the win over Opelka that he feels he still has plenty to give.
He continued: “I was feeling good on the court, physically I was feeling great.
“For sure, when you don’t win a match in more than a year, you start to think about it more than you should and not focus on the right things.
“After two surgeries, at my age I could easily have stopped playing because my career is way better than what I expected when I was young.
“But I still have this fire in me.
“I still believe that I can play great tennis, that I can make some big results, maybe not now, but in a few months.”
The three-time Slam champion faces Laslo Djere of Serbia next before a possible match-up with another Serbian, none other than world number one Novak Djokovic.
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