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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday May 27, 2024

Andy Murray

Stan Wawrinka powered past Andy Murray in the first night session of this year's French Open.

Photo Source: Getty

As we learned in 2015, the year Stan Wawrinka won his maiden Roland-Garros title, when the Stanimal is in the zone, there is very little anybody can do to stop him.

Tennis Express

Today that was the case, and it was Andy Murray, the man who defeated Wawrinka in the 2016 semifinal in Paris, who was the deer caught in the headlights on Court Phillipe-Chatrier as the Swiss powered to a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory to reach the second round.

Murray was looking for his first win at Roland-Garros since 2017, but couldn’t match up effectively with the 39-year-old.

Wawrinka cracked 35 winners and never faced a break point against Murray, who hit 25 winners and was broken four times.

Though it was a one-sided scoreline, the match was high quality and played in a great atmosphere, the Chatrier faithful packing the tribunes to cheer on a pair of legendary warriors.

“Obviously disappointed,” Murray said after the match. “You know, it was always going to be tough, tough match. You know, Stan has, over the years, played brilliant tennis on that court. Yeah, I was expecting him to play very well tonight. I think he did that. He gave me very few opportunities.”

After the contest, there was a warm embrace at the net, a moment for Murray and Wawrinka, both three-time Grand Slam champions and veterans of nearly two decades of elite-level tennis, to show their respect for one another.

“It was emotional, for sure,” Wawrinka later said. “We're getting closer to the end, and we played so many times over the last 20 years. A lot of emotion.

“Was amazing to be on the Chatrier night session, something I never had a chance to do. And, yeah, [Andy’s an] amazing guy, amazing player, such a big fighter. We have a lot of respect for each other.”

Wawrinka improves 46-17 lifetime in Paris, and 10-13 lifetime against Murray.

The Swiss will face either Pavel Kotov or Cameron Norrie in the second round.

“I think I played my best match of the year,” Wawrinka said. “I was feeling good. I was moving well. I was playing aggressive. I liked the conditions, and I'm super happy with the performance and the level. It's really positive for me.”

Murray's Last RG?

It isn’t clear if Murray will ever be back at Roland-Garros. The 37-year-old former World No.1 has said he plans to retire at some point this summer, but hasn’t set any official date. If he doesn’t make it back to the Parisian clay, his legacy will stand tall. In 2016 he became the first British man to reach the final since 1937, and he currently ranks fourth on the active list for wins on the Parisian clay with 39.

Only Nadal (112), Djokovic (92) and Wawrinka (46) have more.


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