Murray Manhandled By Wawrinka At French Open; Nadal, Thiem Monday
by Staff | September 27th, 2020, 9:10 pm

The big opening day showdown between Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray at the French Open turned out to be a dud as the Swiss rolled 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 on Philippe Chatrier.

“I was expecting a tough match. I was really focussed with a champion like Andy. Even if the scoreboard is only one side like today, you have to keep focus,” Wawrinka said. “You never know what can happen. Today I’m really happy with what I have done on the court. Great to be back, great to feel that way, and looking forward for the next match.”

Wawrinka simply overpowered Murray in all phases of the game in this battle of 3-time Slam winners. Murray never broke serve (he’s now gone 6 straight sets in Slams without breaking) in this his first match on clay since his loss to Wawrinka in the 2017 French Open semifinals.

“Obviously an extremely tough draw. Even if I played very well, it would have been no guarantee that I win that match,” Murray said. “But I also didn’t play well. I served under 40% first serves in the court, that’s just not good enough, really, against anyone, and especially someone as good as Stan.

“You want to be serving in the 60%, that sort of region. You won’t see many players serve under 40 per cent the rest of the tournament. That’s just not good enough.”

Wawrinka will return on Wednesday after two days off. Murray will look ahead to returning to best-of-3 on hardcourts as his return continues.

“I know it wasn’t the best match at times, but Zverev was a couple of points away from winning the US Open, and I won against him the week beforehand,” said Murray. “It’s going to be difficult for me to play the same level as I did before. I’m 33 now and I was ranked No. 1, so it’s difficult with all the issues that I have had. But I’ll keep going. Let’s see what the next few months holds, and I reckon I won’t play a match like that between now and the end of the year.”

No. 11 seed David Goffin was rudely upset by 19-year-old Jannik Sinner. The young Italian made the most of his French Open debut running off 11 straight games under the Chatrier roof to spoil the Belgian 7-5, 6-0, 6-3.

“Obviously, it’s not easy playing against him,” said Sinner. “I know him quite well before, we practiced together quite a lot in Cincinnati, the US Open, Monaco. He’s a great guy. You go on court obviously to win. The first set was very tight, a lot of breaks of serve, and it was the key to manage to win the service games quite easily. In the beginning, that was not easy. He was returning well. I was not serving that well. But the balls here are very heavy. The court was heavy. It was not easy. But when you win the first set and go up a break, it’s a little bit easier to play. I mean, he’s a Top 15 player, so you always have to be focused. I tried to do that, and today it worked.”

Sinner will set himself up with Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi on Wednesday.

American men had a good day as John Isner, Taylor Fritz and Sebastian Korda all advanced. Korda, the son of 1992 French finalist Petr Korda, collected his first career tour win beating Andreas Seppi. He’ll now meet Isner on Wednesday.

With light rain falling and the roof open, Alexander Zverev came from a break down in the first to get past Dennis Novak 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.

“I won, which is important,” Zverev said after his first clay match of the year. “Obviously I didn’t play any clay-court matches before coming in here, simply didn’t have the time.

“Happy to get through, because Dennis is somebody that plays well on this surface. He can beat good players.”

Benoit Paire and Kei Nishikori were also winners on the Day One. Nishikori edged Dan Evans in a 5-set thriller.

Tomorrow, the King of Clay Rafael Nadal returns along with 2-time finalist Dominic Thiem who meets Marin Cilic in a match-up of former US Open champions. Cilic celebrates his 32nd birthday.

Daniil Medvedev debuts on Lenglen seeking his win on the grounds.

** Court Philippe CHATRIER ** Début à 11h00
1 SD 1 Petra KVITOVA (CZE) [7] contre Oceane DODIN (FRA)
suivi de
2 SM 1 Marin CILIC (CRO) contre Dominic THIEM (AUT)[3]
3 SD 1 Kristie AHN (USA) contre Serena WILLIAMS (USA)[6]
4 SM 1 Egor GERASIMOV (BLR) contre Rafael NADAL (ESP) [2]

** Court Suzanne LENGLEN ** Début à 11h00
1 SD 1 Katarina ZAVATSKA (UKR) contre Kiki BERTENS (NED) [5]
suivi de
2 SD 1 Elina SVITOLINA (UKR)[3] contre Varvara GRACHEVA (RUS)
3 SM 1 Gael MONFILS (FRA)[8] contre Alexander BUBLIK (KAZ)
4 SM 1 Daniil MEDVEDEV (RUS) [4] contre Marton FUCSOVICS (HUN)

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3 Comments for Murray Manhandled By Wawrinka At French Open; Nadal, Thiem Monday

j-kath Says:

Andy should never have played in this year’s French Open. In his “salad days” it was always his worst surface. His luck was out from the very beginning i.e. having his first match against Stan Wawrinka who plays his best on clay. Bad play equalled bad performance.

Craig Says:

Clearly Murray didn’t play well BUT look at the conditions! Cold, damp and slippery – with many players complaining about that. I watched the match and felt that due to his hip condition Murray was over-cautious about falling, plus these conditions would have affected his hip, otherwise why was he wearing leggings? Cold and damp is notorious for causing stiffness and imobility in joint issues, so he wouldn’t be able to move well.
Not making excuses but slams are usually played in warmer conditions. No atmosphere because even the crowd were subdued due to the cold. Stan played well but watch out for more peculiar perfomances at this tournament….!

j-kath Says:

Craig: And Andy didn’t howl loud on a good or bad shot – so constrained. And yes, while this is not about me, I can well understand his stiffness as I hurt my feet badly 5 months ago and even though I can walk well enuf now I still have to “nurse” my feet daily. Hence, I think it was way too soon for Andy to take on possible 5-setters. As I am an Andy fan – I do hope to see him in 3-setters with lots of more positivity/success.

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