Wawrinka excited to return to ATP Tour

Three-time grand slam champion Stan Wawrinka is looking forward to making his full return to the ATP Tour in Bulgaria this week.

Stan Wawrinka, in action at the Australian Open   -  Getty Images

Stan Wawrinka's comeback from injury at the Australian Open may have ended prematurely but he returns to the ATP Tour this week feeling in better shape.

After undergoing knee surgery last August, Wawrinka managed to see off Ricardas Berankis at Melbourne Park, only to then go down in straight sets to Tennys Sandgren in round two.

Despite that loss, Wawrinka says the grand slam helped restore his confidence and he is ready to make his Tour return at the Sofia Open.

"For me it was really important mentally, but as well - for my knee to see that everything is going to right direction," he told the tournament's website.

"I knew I wasn't ready to play in a good level and physically I was still far away from I want to be. 

"But it was important to test the knee, to see how it is reacting and also mentally to be a little bit back in the tour.

"I came back from Australia with a lot of work to do for my knee. I felt better this week, so I decided that it may be a good option for me to start a little bit earlier with tournaments.

"Since the first day I came back from Australia I was working really hard physically and also for my tennis. 

"I am feeling better and better and starting to come back to my top level. I am happy with all the improvement I am making and I am happy to back in the tour."

Wawrinka, who is top seed in Bulgaria, has been given a bye in the first round.

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