As he gives the US Open a miss due to the COVID-19 danger, Stan Wawrinka has made his Roland Garros intentions clear by entering a pair of clay Challengers in the Czech Republic this month.
Switzerland’s three-time Grand Slam champion is heading off to Prague August 17-30 to get key match time on the dirt prior to the September 27 start of rescheduled Roland Garros in Paris.
The competition will also put him in prime position for the Rome Masters if it is able to be held in mid-September,
“It’s (my game) coming back nicely. The first step is to get back into the rhythm,” Wawrinka told Swiss media after a training session in Nyon near Geneva. “This was one of the first times I’ve played for points.
“I feel good, I’m closer to the end of my career than the beginning. I’ve won three Grand Slam titles so I’m not a youngster.”
The 35-year-old said that the six-month tennis pause during the virus pandemic may actually serve him in the end.
“It may be beneficial for us old-timers,” adding: “I’m am not stressed by the idea of returning to competition.
“I was happy to spend so much time at home, happy to be able to rest, happy to finally be able to get out of tennis.”
Wawrinka said he did not “miss” the sport per se, since there was no tennis going on at all.
“I would have missed him if I hadn’t been able to play tournaments (such as through an injury), If I’m still playing it’s for the emotions we feel on the court, the stress that matches can cause. ”
“For now, it’s coming back nicely. The first step is to get back into the rhythm.”