Is Stan Wawrinka Back?

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Stan Wawrinka’s knee injury kept him out the game for more than 12 months. He struggled in the first half of the year–most notably losing in the first round at Roland Garros, and made second-round exits at both Melbourne and Wimbledon. It is safe to say 2018 has not been so kind for the Swiss

Wawrinka comes into the US Open with an overall 11-13 win-loss record year. Some good results in the American hard court swing–such as reaching the round of 16 in Toronto before losing to Nadal in two tight sets (7-5, 7-6) the quarterfinals in Cincinnati before losing to Federer (6-7, 7-6, 6-2)–can be seen as a positive start for his US Open preparation.

Wawrinka has been carrying the positive momentum he had from Toronto and Cincinnati into this year’s US Open tournament. In the first round, he beat the eighth seed Grigor Dimitrov, who is also struggling with results in 2018, in the straight sets. In the second round, though he dropped a set against the young Frenchman Ugo Herbert, it was still an overall good performance and comfortable win by Wawrinka.

He will face Milos Raonic next round, who is also battling injury woes recently. This will be a test for Wawrinka, and if Wawrinka get the win, there is no doubt it will be a be a big confidence booster for his rest of the year.

As Wawrinka described it himself in his post-match press conference after beating Grigor Dimitrov: “It’s been a long year…. I need to keep working day by day… to keep being patient and see what is going to happen this year. So far it’s a great start here, I’m just happy where I am.”

When asked whether he thinks he is in contention for the title this year, Wawrinka said: “I’m far from putting myself there…. If you look at the last few months… the way I’m playing, the way I’m moving in a practice match… the level is high.”

“I’m improving day by day, match after match, I can see that in the tournaments I’m playing. I’m happy with that… But I’m also aware I can have some troubles, I can have ups and downs still.”

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