After an injury break of more than a year, Stan Wawrinka celebrated his comeback on the small stage of the Challenger tournament in Marbella on Tuesday. However, the 37-year-old is still far from his best form.

Wawrinka lost to Sweden’s Elias Ymer 2-6, 4-6 in the last 32. The Swiss, who has dropped to 232nd in the world, had to undergo two foot operations last year and played his last competition to date at the beginning of March 2021. After that, there were “many difficult moments”, Wawrinka told the newspaper Le Matin, including doubts about his return. In recent weeks, however, his foot has improved. Wawrinka won titles at the Australian Open, the French Open and the US Open between 2014 and 2016.

Dominic Thiem, ranked 50th in the world, is the top seed at the Andalucia Open, which boasts a strong field at the start of the clay-court season. Veteran Philipp Kohlschreiber (Augsburg) and Yannick Hanfmann (Karlsruhe) will also be competing.