The three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka is back. After a breathing break of more than a year, the Swiss on Tuesday on the small stage of the Challenger tournament in Marbella celebrated his comeback.
From his best form, however, the 37-year-old is still miles away. Wawrinka defeated the Sweden Elias Ymer 2: 6, 4: 6. Later in the day, even ex-US Open Champion Dominic Thiem should celebrate his return on the Spanish Mediterranean coast.
Wawrinka, ranked 232 of the world, had had to undergo two foot operations last year and at the beginning of March 2021 denied his until date. Then there were “many difficult moments,” said Wawrinka of the newspaper le Matin, also doubts about his return. His foot had become better over the past few weeks.
Thiem suffered a wrist infringement at Reamernier in Mallorca last June and has not played a match since. “It was a very, very hard time for me,” said the 28-year-old last over the long forced break: “I know it will take a long time to come back to the top level.”
Wawrinka fought between 2014 and 2016 its titles at the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open. In New York, Thiem 2020, with the scarce final win over Alexander Zverev managed his biggest success, then he fell into a mental “hole” and spoke of a “certain emptiness”. Subsequently, the injury took him, Thiem moved his comeback again and again.
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He is a world ranking list 50. Top position at the Andalucia Open, which are allowed to look forward to a strong number of participants with the beginning of the sandplatz season. Also Routinian Philipp Kohlschreiber (Augsburg) and Yannick Hanfmann (Karlsruhe) are at the start.