Wawrinka wins first match back after knee surgery

Stan Wawrinka (Getty)
Stan Wawrinka (Getty)

Melbourne - Stan Wawrinka was upbeat after winning a tough first match at the Australian Open on Tuesday 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 2 hours and 47 minutes on Hisense Arena.

It was a confidence booster for the 2014 Melbourne Park champion, who had a troubled lead-in to the year's opening Grand Slam, pulling out of an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi on his way to Australia.

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.

"It's great to be back. It's great to win, for sure," he said.

"It was a tough one in all aspects of the game, but in general, I'm really happy to get through a match like that, to fight the way I did today, to win the match like this."

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.

"The knee didn't move even after three hours, so that's great."

The Swiss star, who next plays American Tennys Sandgren, said his plan was to keep going as far as he can to raise his fitness levels.

"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.

"I know that after that, I have a lot of work to do. I need to be really patient because I have a lot of fitness and practice to do if I want to get back to my level."

Collated results from the Australian Open on Tuesday:

Men's singles

1st round

Jiri Vesely (CZE) bt Vaclav Safranek (CZE) 6-4, 6-3, 6-3

Adrian Mannarino (FRA x26) bt Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Fernando Verdasco (ESP) bt Roberto Bautista (ESP x20) 6-1, 7-5, 7-5

Maximilian Marterer (GER) bt Cedrik-Marcel Stebe (GER) 6-0, 6-3, 6-4

Julien Benneteau (FRA) bt Taro Daniel (JPN) 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (7/0), 6-4, 6-1

Sam Querrey (USA x13) bt Feliciano Lopez (ESP) 6-3, 6-4, 6-2

Marton Fucsovics (HUN) bt Radu Albot (MDA) 6-2, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5

Nicolas Kicker (ARG) bt Jordan Thompson (AUS) 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3

Lukas Lacko (SVK) bt Milos Raonic (CAN x22) 6-7 (5/7), 7-5, 6-4, 7-6 (7/5)

Stan Wawrinka (SUI x9) bt Ricardas Berankis (LTU) 6-3, 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (7/2)

Albert Ramos (ESP x21) bt Jared Donaldson (USA) 6-2, 6-3, 6-4

Peter Gojowczyk (GER) bt Mikhail Kukushkin (KAZ) 6-3, 6-3, 6-1

Alexander Zverev (GER x4) bt Thomas Fabbiano (ITA) 6-1, 7-6 (7/5), 7-5

David Goffin (BEL x7) bt Matthias Bachinger (GER) 6-7 (3/7), 6-3, 6-2, 6-4

Evgeny Donskoy (RUS) bt Florian Mayer (GER) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Lorenzo Sonego (ITA) bt Robin Haase (NED) 6-3, 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 7-5

Novak Djokovic (SRB x14) bt Donald Young (USA) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4

Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) bt Kwon Soon-woo (KOR) 6-1, 6-2, 6-4

Denis Kudla (USA) bt Steve Johnson (USA) 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 7-6 (7/3), 6-2

Tennys Sandgren (USA) bt Jeremy Chardy (FRA) 6-4, 7-6 (7/2), 6-2

Fabio Fognini (ITA x25) bt Horacio Zeballos (ARG) 6-4, 6-4, 7-5

Gael Monfils (FRA) bt Jaume Munar (ESP) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4

Tim Smyczek (USA) bt Alexei Popyrin (AUS) 6-3, 6-7 (14/16), 6-3, 6-3

Chung Hyeon (KOR) bt Mischa Zverev (GER x32) 6-2, 4-1 ret

Richard Gasquet (FRA x29) bt Blaz Kavcic (SLO) 6-1, 6-4, 7-5

Daniil Medvedev (RUS) bt Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) 6-2, 6-7 (6/8), 7-6 (10/8), 6-4

Guillermo Garcia-Lopez (ESP) bt Benoit Paire (FRA) 6-0, 6-7 (4/7), 6-1, 6-4

Karen Khachanov (RUS) bt Peter Polansky (CAN) 7-6 (7/3), 7-6 (7/2), 6-4

Roger Federer (SUI x2) bt Aljaz Bedene (GBR) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3

Tomas Berdych (CZE x19) bt Alex de Minaur (AUS) 6-3, 3-6, 6-0, 6-1

Dominic Thiem (AUT x5) bt Guido Pella (ARG) 6-4, 6-4, 6-4

Juan Martin Del Potro (ARGx12) bt Frances Tiafoe (USA) 6-3, 6-4, 6-3

Women's singles

1st round

Johanna Konta (GBR x9) bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-3, 6-1

Bernarda Pera (USA) bt Anna Blinkova (RUS) 6-2, 6-2

Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE x20) bt Kristie Ahn (USA) 6-1, 7-5

Lara Arruabarrena (ESP) bt Richel Hogenkamp (NED) 6-1, 6-2

Lucie Safarova (CZE x29) bt Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) 7-5, 6-3

Karolina Pliskova (CZE x6) bt Veronica Cepede (PAR) 6-3, 6-4

Angelique Kerber (GER x21) bt Anna-Lena Friedsam (GER) 6-0, 6-4

Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) bt Kurumi Nara (JPN) 7-5, 6-4

Caroline Garcia (FRA x8) bt Carina Witthoeft (GER) 7-5, 6-3

Elena Vesnina (RUS x16) bt Ons Jabeur (TUN) 6-3, 6-4

Maria Sharapova (RUS) bt Tatjana Malek (GER) 6-1, 6-4

Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) bt Christina McHale (USA) 6-3, 6-2

Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) bt Oceane Dodin (FRA) 6-3, 7-6 (7/5)

Sorana Cirstea (ROM) bt Zarina Diyas (KAZ) 5-7, 6-4, 6-3

Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) bt Lizette Cabrera (AUS) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4

Donna Vekic (CRO) bt Nao Hibino (JPN) 7-5, 6-3

Madison Keys (USA x17) bt Qiang Wang (CHN) 6-1, 7-5

Simona Halep (ROM x1) bt Destanee Aiava (AUS) 7-6 (7/5), 6-1

Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) bt Polona Hercog (SLO) 7-6 (7/2), 6-4

Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (CRO x28) bt Shelby Rogers (USA) 7-6 (8/6), 5-7, 6-2

Anastasija Sevastova (LAT x14) bt Varvara Lepchenko (USA) 3-6, 6-3, 6-2

Naomi Osaka (JPN) bt Kristina Kucova (SVK) 7-5, 6-2

Lesya Tsurenko (UKR) bt Natalia Vikhlyantseva (RUS) 3-6, 6-3, 6-4

Camila Giorgi (ITA) bt Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) 6-4, 6-3

Lauren Davis (USA) bt Jana Cepelova (SVK) 6-7 (4/7), 6-3, 6-1

Andrea Petkovic (GER) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x27) 6-3, 4-6, 10-8

Hsieh Su-wei (TPE) bt Zhu Lin (CHN) 0-6, 6-0, 8-6

Ana Bogdan (ROM) bt Kristina Mladenovic (FRA x11) 6-3, 6-2

Garbine Muguruza (ESP x3) bt Jessika Ponchet (FRA) 6-4, 6-3

Agnieszka Radwanska (POL x26) bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 2-6, 6-3, 6-2

Yulia Putintseva (KAZ) bt Heather Watson (GBR) 7-5, 7-6 (8/6)

Ashleigh Barty (AUS x18) bt Aryna Sabalenka (BLR) 6-7 (2/7), 6-4, 6-4

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