Stan Wawrinka loses to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at French Open after five-set marathon
Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem enjoy comfortable passages through to the second round at Roland Garros
Last Updated: 28/05/18 5:42pm
Stan Wawrinka became the first high-profile casualty of the men’s draw at the French Open after the former champion suffered a five-set defeat to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
Wawrinka, finalist last year, arrived at Roland Garros short of match practice as the Swiss player continues his recovery from surgery on his left knee, an injury which forced him to miss the second half of last season.
Garcia-Lopez, who also beat the former world No 3 in the French Open first round in 2014, repeated the feat on Monday with a 6-2 3-6 4-6 7-6(7-5) 6-3 victory to progress to a second-round tie with Karen Khachanov.
Wawrinka set to tumble down world rankings
Wawrinka, who reached the final at Roland Garros last year, is projected to fall to world No 256 when the rankings are updated after the tournament.
The world No 67 Spaniard took the initiative in the contest as he broke twice and saved two break point opportunities on his way to winning the opening set before one break in the second set proved enough for Wawrinka to level proceedings.
Wawrinka maintained his momentum in a tight third set as he hit 13 winners on his way to moving ahead for the first time in the match.
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The three-time Grand Slam champion appeared to be on course for victory as he broke early in the fourth but the Spaniard hit back and forced a decider after winning a tiebreak.
As Wawrinka struggled physically to remain at a high-level as the match approached its closing stages, Garcia-Lopez's consistency and concentration saw him break his opponent twice and earn victory after three hours and 30 minutes on court.
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Novak Djokovic avoided any such surprise defeat as the fellow former champion recovered from being broken in his opening service game to record a convincing 6-3 6-4 6-4 victory against Rogerio Dutra Silva in two hours and five minutes.
The Serbian, who has dropped outside the world's top-20 this season through a drop in form after returning from a six-month injury lay-off, mixed 37 winners with 36 unforced errors - a statistic which will surely need to improve if he is to have a long run.
The 12-time Grand Slam winner broke his world No 134 opponent six times to book a second round meeting with Spain's Jaume Munar, who knocked out compatriot David Ferrer in five-sets after losing the opening two sets.
Dominic Thiem underlined his clay court pedigree with an assured straight-sets win against Ilya Ivashka to secure an intriguing encounter with rising talent Stefanos Tsitsipas.
The Austrian, a two-time French Open semi-finalist, converted eight of his 14 break point opportunities to ease through against the Belorussian.
Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut reached the second round, just a week after his mother passed away.
Ester Agut died last Monday but the world No 13 decided to come to Paris in honour of his mother.
"It's been emotional for everything that has been happening to me this week," said the 30-year-old after beating Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-2 6-7 (3-7) 1-6 6-4 6-4.
"It's not easy to handle all this in your head. I thought it was best to come here, take a step forward, not hide and not stay at home. I wanted to continue fighting as I have always done."
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