2014 champ Wawrinka wins on return from injury
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 16, 2018 02:32 PM
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka celebrates win over Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis during their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Stan Wawrinka struggled at times in his first match since last year's Wimbledon, but held on to beat Lithuania's Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2) in the first round of the Australian Open.
The 2014 champion only connected on 50 percent of his first serves and was broken four times in the match. He also looked physically spent toward the end of the fourth set before rallying to dominate the tiebreaker and close out the match.
Wawrinka underwent surgery on his left knee after Wimbledon and didn't play another match in 2017. He delayed his comeback at the start of this season by pulling out of a couple exhibitions before the Australian Open and made a last-minute decision to take part in the tournament.
"I'm proud to be back already," he said after his match. "Honestly, to win today, it means a lot for me."
The ninth-seeded Swiss player is also playing without a coach after splitting with long-time coach Magnus Norman in October.