French Open: Stan Wawrinka rolls back the years to knock Andy Murray out in 1st round

Former champion Stan Wawrinka showed he is still hungry and fit for a big fight by defeating Andy Murray in a high-octane first-round men’s singles match at French Open 2024 on Sunday, May 26. Wawrinka showed glimpses of his vintage self, beating the former finalist in straight sets – 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in a match that extended to a little more than 2 hours at the center court — the Philippe Chatrier — in Paris.

Stan Wawrinka, who won the clay-court major in 2015 and reached the final in 2017, reached the second round at Roland Garros for the second successive year. The Spaniard was dominant during his first-round win against Murray, who has not gone past the first round in Paris since his run to the semi-final in 2017.

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Stan Wawrinka finished off the game with his trademark backhand down-the-line shot, much to the delight of the Paris crowd that stayed back to watch the last match at the Chatrier on Sunday. The Paris crowd also gave a hero’s reception to Murray after the match, knowing that the 3-time Grand Slam champion might have played his last match at the Roland Garros.

Stan Wawrinka gave no room for Andy Murray to fight as he wrapped up a straight-set victory, winning 79 percent points on the first serve in a flawless display of tennis on the red dirt. Wawrinka converted four break points when compared to Murray, who fluffed two break point opportunities.

It was Wawrinka’s 3rd win in four meetings against Murray at Roland Garros, but the mutual respect between the two champions was evident when they shared a warm embrace at the net after the first-round match on Sunday. Wawrinka is likely to face World No. 32 Cameron Norrie in the second round in Roland Garros.

“My first words to him were respect to a great champion. As a tennis fan, I enjoyed watching Andy play against the great champions. We had battles with those players for nearly 20 years. We are not that young anymore. We are trying to make the best of what we have left,” Wawrinka said during the on-court interview.


Earlier in the day, 3rd seed Carlos Alcaraz dispelled fears about his forearm injury, thumping lucky loser JJ Wolf 6-1 6-2 6-1. The Spaniard will face qualifier Jesper De Jong next.

Madrid champion and sixth seed Andrey Rublev was pushed hard by Taro Daniel before securing a 6-2 6-7(3) 6-3 7-5 victory while Polish eighth seed Hurkacz was dragged the distance by another Japanese player in Shintaro Mochizuki. Hurkacz returned from the rain break to seal a 4-6 6-3 3-6 6-0 6-3 victory.

Grigor Dimitrov, the 10th seed, had no such trouble as he completed a smooth 6-4 6-3 6-4 win over Aleksandar Kovacevic.

Four-times Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka and 2017 winner Jelena Ostapenko also advanced before rain briefly interrupted play but the action continued on Suzanne Lenglen with a new retractable roof inaugurated earlier in the day deployed. (With Reuters Inputs).

Published By:

Akshay Ramesh

Published On:

May 27, 2024

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