Stanislas Wawrinka has revealed that his recovery from injury has not progressed as anticipated and he is now a major doubt for the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi later this month, where he was slated to face Pablo Carreno Busta on December 28.
However, he still has his hopes up to participate in the Australian Open, which kicks off later next month. He will be joined by the likes of Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak DJokovic in what will be a competitive tournament.
Wawrinka last featured at Wimbledon in July when he was sent packing in the first round after his shock 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 loss to Daniil Medvedev. Having played with an issue with his left knee for months, the Swiss star decided to undergo surgery and end his 2017 season early.
Wawrinka had an unimpressive finish to the 2017 season with a 26-11 match record, including one ATP World Tour title in Geneva where he defeated Mischa Zverev in the final.
He also reached the final of the BNP Paribas Open and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 Indian Wells, while his only proper entry into a Grand Slam final was at Roland Garros where he was convincingly defeated by Nadal in straight sets.
However, having endured what was arguably the most difficult phase of his career, the Swissman wants to exercise caution in his way forward. The 2014 Australian Open winner wants his entire body to attune itself to the changes and come back to the pitch when he is ready.
"I still can't play points right now," Wawrinka said, as quoted by the Express. "The goal is still to play the Australian Open, to arrive there one week before to practice hard. For Abu Dhabi, we'll see.
"Mentally I have to focus on the knee, I have to be careful not to impose certain movements on the knee. I have to also watch the rest of my body which needs to get used to the changes. In fact, I have to push hard but in a predefined and very rigid way."