Tennis fans were very excited when the Roland Garros draw was released to witness the clash of titans in the first round: Stan Wawrinka vs Andy Murray. The match was rather one sided as Wawrinka stormed past Murray in straight sets: 6-1, 6-3, 6-2. The 2015 champion played a solid match in the cool conditions, going unbroken in a rather easy outing in his one-hour, 37-minute victory.
The 16th seed former champion had fewer problems hitting through the heavy conditions, striking 42 winners to just 27 unforced errors. He was comfortable playing attacking tennis, even at times from behind the baseline. Murray struggled to make much of an impression on the 35-year-old in rallies, and on many occasions his shots sat up for the Swiss to swing away at.
Murray struggled throughout the match. He tried to make inroads early in the second set, attempting to step in and play aggressively with his forehand. But he was unable to do so consistently enough to put pressure on the former World No. 3 and force Wawrinka out of his comfort zone. At 2-5 in the second set, Murray tried hitting a backhand drop shot to change the pace of a rally, but his attempt bounced before the net. Before it landed, Murray said, “Oy, oy, oy!” It was that type of day for the former World No. 1. This was Murray’s first clay-court match since his loss against Wawrinka in the 2017 French Open semi-finals. Wawrinka now trails the Brit 9-12 in their ATP Head2Head series, but leads 5-1 on clay. He will try to carry his good level into the second round.
The last time the superstars competed against one another at Roland Garros was in their five-set 2017 semi-final. Later that year, Wawrinka underwent two left knee surgeries. In the time since, Murray has had two right hip operations. Now both players are on their way back to peak form, but Wawrinka was simply better in their encounter.
Wawrinka looked in great form and shape and would definitely be a front-runner in his upcoming 2-3 matches. He will face Dominik Koepfer in the second round.