Former world No. 3 Stan Wawrinka failed to clinch his first win of the season in Monte Carlo but he was glad with the level he delivered in his first round match. Wawrinka, now ranked at No. 236 in the world, returned from a long injury break in late March.
Wawrinka, who was awarded a wildcard into Monte Carlo, suffered a first round defeat at the tournament on Monday. Wawrinka got off to a good start to the match but Alexander Bublik recovered to win in three sets 3-6 7-5 6-2.
“it was a way better match. I think the body’s getting much better," Wawrinka said, per Tennishead. “I’m still far away from where I want to be, but I think I’m [moving in] the right direction.
“I think today was a positive match. It was a tough loss, of course, but I’m happy with the way I was playing today."
Wawrinka: I played better than expected
“I knew coming here that I’m not physically and tennis-wise ready.
I wanted to play a few matches with the Challenger two weeks ago. Now we are practising with the top guys to get my level a bit better," Wawrinka continued. “But I knew and I didn’t expect to play already the way I want to play, so I knew it would be difficult.
As I said, I think it was much better than what I was expecting today. “I was playing better, feeling better on the court of course physically, tennis-wise, and also I spent a lot of mental energy to focus, to stay there as it was tough at the end.
But again, I’m happy with what I have done today”. After beating Wawrinka, Bublik admitted he hates playing on clay and added he only beat the Swiss because he was coming off a long injury break.