Stan Wawrinka broke a 20-month drought on Friday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament to reach his first tour-level final since June 2017 at Roland Garros.
“This is a big relief for me,” said Wawrinka. “It’s my first final since the [knee] surgery, so to show I can still play at this level against the top players is very important for me. When you come back from a surgery like that, you need to be patient with yourself. You look to start to win matches and gain confidence. I think my level is there physically and tennis-wise. If I stay focused and do the right things, I think I’m going to get back to a good place.”
The 33-year-old advanced to his 28th championship match with a 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Kei Nishikori on Saturday in Rotterdam, where he lifted the 2015 trophy. He will next play Gael Monfils at the Ahoy arena.
« We practise together a lot and we’re really close friends, » said Wawrinka. « We’ve said it would be nice to play against each other in a final, so tomorrow will be special for both of us. »