Wawrinka ousts Murray in straight sets at French Open
9/27/2020 2:30:51 PM EST
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka ousted Andy Murray in first-round play at the French Open on Sunday in a matchup of three-time Grand Slam champions in Paris.
Wawrinka defeated Murray, of Great Britain, 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in a match that lasted just one hour, 40 minutes. Wawrinka struck nine aces and converted 75 percent (6 of 8) break chances and had 41 winners to just nine for Murray.
Murray is on the comeback trail, attempting to return to the form that saw him hold the No. 1 ranking in the world as recently as August 2017. Derailed by a serious hip injury, he now is No. 111 in the world.
On Sunday, the 33-year-old Murray struggled against Wawrinka, the 16th seed who defeated Novak Djokovic to win the 2015 French Open. Wawrinka won all 12 of his service games, 75 percent of his service points and 62 percent of all points.
In other action, Jannik Sinner of Italy pulled off the day's biggest upset at Roland Garros, eliminating No. 11 seed David Goffin of Belgium. Sinner won 78 percent of his first serves en route to a 7-5, 6-0, 6-3 win. At one point, he won 11 straight games that included five straight service breaks.
"I was playing well from the beginning of the second set," Sinner said. "I felt comfortable on court trying to go with the backhand a little bit more down the line and to open the court a little bit."
Next up for Sinner, the 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion, will be French qualifier Benjamin Bonzi, who defeated Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Sinner and Goffin played under the closed roof at Court Philippe Chatrier and weren't exposed to the elements on a damp day that hovered in the high-40s. For John Isner, the No. 21 seed, the conditions helped him in his 6-4, 6-1, 6-3 win over Elliot Benchetrit of France, he said.
"It's been more than two years since I've stepped foot on clay," Isner said. "But with how the clay is now, I think it almost helps me in the sense that the really good movers can't slide around like they normally can because the clay's really damp.
"It kind of played like a slow hard court, I thought. There wasn't much sliding. I'm not the best slider. It's tough conditions but I really don't mind it."
In addition to Goffin, another pair of seeded players fell in the first round. Norbert Gombos of Slovakia was a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 winner over No. 24 Borna Coric of Croatia, while Italian Marco Cecchinato defeated No. 25 Alex de Minaur of Australia 7-6 (9), 6-4, 6-0.
Sixth-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany, the runner-up at the U.S. Open, had no such trouble, sweeping Dennis Novak of Austria 7-5, 6-2, 6-4. Argentina's Diego Schwartzman, the No. 13 seed, cruised past Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 6-0, 6-1, 6-3.
Other winners included No. 23 seed Benoit Paire, who converted seven of 18 break points to beat Soon-woo Kwon of South Korea 7-5, 6-4, 6-4; No. 27 Taylor Fritz, who beat Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic 7-5, 7-6 (2), 1-6, 2-6, 6-3; and Kei Nishikori of Japan, a 1-6, 6-1, 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-3 victor over Dan Evans of Great Britain.
The day also featured a pair of marathon matches on the men's side.
Federico Delbonis and Juan Ignacio Londero, both of Argentina, battled for nearly five hours, with the latter prevailing 6-4, 7-6 (1), 2-6, 1-6, 14-12. In the other, Jurij Rodionov, a 21-year-old qualifier from Austria, needed four hours, 42 minutes to come from two sets down to drop Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (6), 6-4, 10-8.
Andrey Rublev won his third tournament of 2020, defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in Hamburg, Germany.
The Russian, the World No. 14, reeled off four straight games - breaking Tsitsipas' serve twice - to win his first ATP 500 tournament. He was runner-up in Hamburg in 2019, falling in three sets to Nikoloz Basilashvili. Tsitsipas double-faulted to seal the win for Rublev.
Rublev's previous victories on the season came in Doha and Adelaide. He trails only World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, who has won four times, for most wins among men in 2020.
--Field Level Media
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