Starting the previous season ranked 45th, the 34-year-old Stan Wawrinka returned where he belongs and finished in the top-20 for the eighth time in the last nine years! The Swiss produced a steady performance that saw him competing for the ATP title in Rotterdam and Antwerp, losing those to Gael Monfils and Andy Murray but doing enough to wrap up the season in the top-16 only year and a half after dropping out from the top-250 for the first time in 15 years.
Stan had to finish his 2017 duties already at Wimbledon, suffering a nasty knee injury that required two surgeries and a long time off the court. The Swiss couldn't find his best tennis in 2018, struggling to gain the form and excel his game to the level he had before.
As always, the three-time Major champion wanted to show his A-game at the most significant tennis scene and that was the case in the season behind us, reaching the quarter-final at Roland Garros after one of the best matches of the year against Stefanos Tsitsipas and again at the US Open, cracking the top-20 and making a complete comeback after one of the darkest periods of his career.
Opening the new season in Doha, Wawrinka defeated Jeremy Chardy in the first match, seeking the first title since Geneva 2017 and hoping to find himself in the top-10 at some point this season if he stays healthy. "It's always been a good tournament here in Doha.
It's good preparation for the season ahead and the conditions are great for the players," said Wawrinka. "At the end of last season, I didn't play many matches so I thought I'd spend some time on the courts.
I enjoy playing. I've been here a few days and I thought, why just practice and sit in the hotel and instead do some activities. I would want to be in the top-10 but at the same time I have to see how I stay the whole year and the year is long. I'll see how it goes; I want to win some matches and make some good results."