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Stan Wawrinka said Friday that he plans to play his first clay-court event of 2018 in Rome.

Wawrinka Sets Sights On Rome

Swiss star practising with former coach Magnus Norman

Stan Wawrinka, recovering from a calf injury, is eyeing the Internazionali BNL D'Italia in Rome as his return event.

The 32-year-old said he withdrew from next week's Mutua Madrid Open, where he was a finalist in 2013 (l. to Nadal), to ensure a full recovery. Wawrinka also confirmed he has been practising with former coach Magnus Norman in preparation for his return.

"I gave up on returning to Madrid next week as a sheer precaution. I lost 10 days of training due to a calf injury," Wawrinka said. "Now I'm on a block of two weeks of training with the help of Magnus Norman. My goal is to get back to my best. I think I can do it in the long run. I'm training at 100 per cent. The knee is okay. I'm sure I'll see the end of the tunnel."

Wawrinka's last match was at the Open 13 Provence in Marseille, where he retired against Ilya Ivashka in the second set. The former World No. 3 was also forced to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells and the Miami Open presented by Itau in order to continue his recovery from a knee injury that required two surgeries in August 2017.

Wawrinka confirmed Friday he’ll play at the J. Safra Sarasin Swiss Open Gstaad in July for the first time since 2013.

The Swiss finished his 2017 season with a 26-11 record, including one ATP World Tour title in Geneva (d. M. Zverev). He also reached the final at the BNP Paribas Open (l. to Federer) and at Roland Garros (l. to Nadal).

If his recovery remains on track, Wawrinka added that he may take a wild card into another event ahead of Roland Garros.

"If I have the feeling that I need more matches I could ask for a wild card in Geneva or Lyon," Wawrinka said.

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