Vastavam web: Stan Wawrinka was upbeat after winning a tough first match at the Australian Open today since knee surgery last year, saying there was still pain but it was getting better.The three-time Grand Slam winner had a mid-match wobble before eliminating Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis 6-3, 6-4, 2- 6, 7-6 (7/2) in 2hr 47min on Hisense Arena.The Swiss star, who defeated Rafael Nadal to win the 2014 Australian Open, has slipped to nine in the world rankings, having not played since his first-round Wimbledon loss to Russian Daniil Medvedev six months ago.
But Wawrinka was heartened by the first examination of his still painful knee at the year’s opening Grand Slam.Wawrinka admitted he was still experiencing pain but was relieved his knee had stood up to the physical demands.”I still have some pain. It depends the way I’m moving, how I push on it,” he said.”In general, it’s going the right direction. That’s the best news. To see that I can play a match with the stress, back being tight, without hesitation.”I don’t think I will change much. The plan is to play a bit more if the knee is keeping (together) because I didn’t play for six months,” he said.”First was to come here, see if I was able to play. I won the first match. I’m going to focus on the tournament.