Stanislas Wawrinka ready for Rotterdam on return
Switzerland`s Stan Wawrinka said on Monday he is happy to shake up his February schedule as he makes a return to the Rotterdam World Tennis tournament for the first time in a decade.
Last year`s Australian Open winner was to have played here 12 months ago, but a combination of injury plus the sheer shock of lifting a first Grand Slam title kept him away.
Now, the 29-year-old, whose ranking has slipped to ninth after going out in the Melbourne semi-finals to Novak Djokovic, has come good on his vow to shake up his scheduling.
"I haven`t played indoor in February for 10 years," said Wawrinka, who lost in the 2005 second round here to Roger Federer.
"I used to play in South America and the last few years I haven`t played in February,
"I`m excited to be back. I feel good. It`s important for me to come to play here. it a great tournament, a good indoor court.
Federer said that after arriving on Sunday afternoon, he has already had two training sessions at the Ahoy Stadium.
He said mixing and matching his calendar serves a good purpose. "It`s good to change a bit, to see some new tournaments. Even if I played here before, it was so long ago. It`s also good to stay mentally fresh."
Wawrinka, who stands behind Andy Murray, Milos Raonic and holder Tomas Berdych in the seedings, will open in the first round against Dutch number 250 Jesse Huta Galung, whose best showing at home was reaching the second round three years ago.
"I`ve seen him around for many years, but I`ve never played or practised with him. I`ll watch a few videos and talk to my coach. The Dutch always play well here.
"He will be pumped for the first match - he`ll be ready and dangerous.
"Everything this week depends on how I`m gonna start. If I play my best tennis I can do some good results. It`s indoors, so you have to be ready for the first match, I`m feeling great so we will see."
Five first-round matches were due on court, with three seeds in action.
Bulgarian number five Grigor Dimitrov was facing French qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu, sixth seed Ernests Gulbis facing Austrian Dominic Thiem, who stands 0-2 this season, while seventh seed Roberto Bautista Agut plays Alexander Zverev.