Ever since the three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka, a former world No.3, was forced to undergo knee surgery in 2017, he has struggled to get back on form and has slipped down to 284 on the rankings list.
I’m getting confidence from winning a few matches, so I’m feeling a bit more relaxed, the way I’m moving, Stan Wawrinka
But now he has put together three wins in a row for the first time since 2020 as he came through qualifying last Monday and then beat Joao Sousa of Portugal 7-6(1) 6-2 in his main draw opener to set up a last-16 meeting with Daniil Medvedev at the Moselle Open in Metz, France.
“I’m getting confidence from winning a few matches, so I’m feeling a bit more relaxed, the way I’m moving,” the 37-year-old Wawrinka said.
“I think the level was good from me and I’m happy with the win.”
Looking ahead to his meeting with the top seeded Medvedev whom he has beaten once in their previous three encounters – at the 2020 Australian Open – he added:
“It’s the biggest test. He’s (near) the top of the rankings, always a tough opponent to play.
“It’s going to be really difficult, but I’m happy to test myself against him tomorrow.”
In other action, another injury prone player fighting to recover the form which reaped a grand slam title, Dominic Thiem, successfully negotiated his way past the French veteran Richard Gasquet 6-3 7-6(3).
The 2020 US Open winner, now the world number 182, will face the second seed from Poland Hubert Hurkacz for a quarter-final place.
Already through to the last eight is Sebastian Korda of the US who ousted the third seed from Italy Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 7-6(6).