Sports News, International, (Paris), September 29:-That Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka were back together on Court Philippe Chatrier, all these years and operations later, was something of an accomplishment not to mention a rare first-round matchup between past Grand Slam champions.
Only one, Wawrinka, played like it.
Having no trouble smacking his one-handed backhand and other strokes through the thick air as the fall-time French Open got going Sunday, the barrel-chested Wawrinka needed just 97 minutes to overwhelm Murray 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.
The six games collected by Murray equaled the fewest he has managed in any of his 237 career Grand Slam matches; that also happened in a loss at Roland Garros in 2014 against 12-time champion Rafael Nadal.
This was the first time two men with Grand Slam titles Murray and Wawrinka each own three such trophies played each other in the first round at Roland Garros since Yevgeny Kafelnikov against Michael Chang in 1999, and at any major tournament since Novak Djokovic faced Juan Carlos Ferrero at Wimbledon in 2012.
Murray and Wawrinka met in the 2017 semifinals in Paris and neither has been quite the same since.
Many things happened to him, said the 35-year-old Wawrinka, who is seeded 16th.
But 2015 French Open champion Wawrinka’s road back from two procedures on his knee has been less arduous than Murray’s journey.
And Wawrinka’s path in Paris continues for at least another match.
-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)