Wawrinka downs Murray in Brit's possible French Open swansong

Paris, May 27 (IANS): Stan Wawrinka won a highly anticipated showdown against Andy Murray to reach the second round at Roland Garros. The 2015 champion recorded a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory in what could be Brit's final Paris singles match.

Murray was competing at Roland-Garros for just the second time in the last seven years, while Wawrinka overcame not just the challenge posed by the Briton to advance to the second round.

A break of serve in the first game, and a subsequent hold, gave Wawrinka enough of a cushion to take the first set (though he expertly navigated a 15-40 deficit to hold in the fourth game). More of the same followed in the second set, as the three-time major-winner broke at 1-1, and looked more than solid in his service games, Roland Garros reports.

With Wawrinka ahead 6-4, 5-3, the tenor of the match changed, as eagle eyes would’ve noticed him stretching his right leg at the back of the court. Two games later, he dug in, though—and held from 0-30 to secure a two-sets-to-love lead.

But as set three began, after Wawrinka left the court for a medical timeout, it was Murray’s turn to struggle physically with his lower body. His first-serve speed slowed, and he more than once pulled up with a grimace at the close of the pair's baseline rallies. All that added up to a quick start for Wawrinka in the decider, as the 39-year-old earned two quick service breaks and surged into the second round.

"As years go by, you have to be disciplined, you have to make sacrifices, but the reason why we do that is to be here in front of the public, with the great support that we get, because it’s creating a lot of emotions for everyone.

"I get a lot of emotions out of this as well, and it also gives me the courage to continue. I’m the oldest in the draw, but I’m still very young in my head. I just want to carry on playing: It’s as simple as that," said the 39-year-old Swiss after the win.

Wawrinka will next play Murray's fellow Brit, No. 32 seed Cameron Norrie, or Pavel Kotov.


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Title: Wawrinka downs Murray in Brit's possible French Open swansong

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