WATCH: Wawrinka had struggled during the summer, enduring a narrow Western & Southern Open loss to Andy Murray.

Stan Wawrinka isn't used to playing qualifying, but he's adjusted easily this week at the Moselle Open in Metz.

The 37-year-old three-time Grand Slam winner won two rounds in qualifying, then scored a first-round victory at the ATP event in France. While he says he would have preferred to get a wild card, it's also allowed him to get something he needs even more: match play.

"I say thanks to the tournament all the same for giving me a spot in the qualifying," he told press in French. "I have no problem dropping down a category, I need competition, to stretch myself as far as possible. As you get older, the more time it takes. I recognize my current level... but I'm seeing every day what I'm against capable of doing. I've spent a lot of hours on court and doing fitness."

Prior to this week, Wawrinka hadn't won a round at an ATP event since the grass-court event at Queen's, and had only three victories this season since returning from a lengthy layoff with a foot injury. He also had double knee surgery in 2017.

"I'm getting confidence from winning a few matches, I'm feeling more relaxed," he said. "I think the level was good and I'm happy with the win. It's the first time I've won three matches at a tournament for more than two years."

Next, he plays top seed Daniil Medvedev in the second round.

"It's going to be really difficult, but I'm happy to test myself against him tomorrow."

Wawrinka is No. 284 in the rankings.