Wawrinka Moving Closer To Full Fitness
Hard work paying off for Swiss star
Stan Wawrinka is mentally fresh and happy with his form on the practice court, but he continues to take small steps in his rehabilitation from two surgeries last year on his left knee.
At the Fever-Tree Championships on Wednesday, the Swiss star competed with the right intensity and despite the setback of being unable to convert seven set points in the 10th game of the first set, he once again took a great deal of positives from his loss to Sam Querrey.
“All I know is that I personally feel really good with the way I’m practising, the way I’m moving and the way I’m playing my game,” said Wawrinka. “Now all I need is to keep playing matches like today, like two days ago [against Cameron Norrie]. And also try to win little by little, get my confidence back, get used to play all those important points and feel the right way mentally on the court.
“It’s about knowing that when you play a match like that, if you play 10 matches like that, then you think less and you know exactly what you’re going to do at 5-5, you know what you’re going to do in the tie-break, and that’s how you start winning again.”
Wawrinka knows only too well that he needs to adhere to the advice of his doctors, but once he stepped onto The Queen’s Club grass, the 33-year-old was pleasantly surprised that his knee felt better after undertaking another fitness training block.
“There are a few things on the court that are not the same and maybe will never be the same,” said Wawrinka. “But I believe that I’m strong enough now to play my best tennis. Is it going to be enough? We don’t know.
“After my surgery, I started from zero. My first fitness practice was just walking. The most difficult part was to be happy with it, when you know what you can do. If you start from zero and you finish a 20-minute or 30-minute session, you have to tell yourself, ‘Wow, this is good, this is positive’. That’s when it start to be tough, because it last for months.”
Having watched Andy Murray return and perform well against Nick Kyrgios in his first match for 342 days on Tuesday, Wawrinka admitted, “I think when you come back from surgery, there is few levels of fitness when you come back, so you cannot do everything. For me, it was like step by step, and the last step is to be 100 per cent physically ready and consistent for five hours.
“I think I’m close to that.”
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