For the second straight day, rain caused delays and scheduling snafus at the French Open. Once play got underway on Monday, though, it was an afternoon of desperate survival for the tournament’s top seeds.
Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray both spent their day looking vulnerable, with the latter still having to finish out his match after play was suspended because of darkness. There also were a number of upsets and narrow misses on the women’s side.
Wawrinka, the defending champion at Roland Garros, needed all five sets in a 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 comeback win over Lukas Rosol. The Swiss totaled 46 unforced errors and struggled throughout with his return game. Rosol, who made the third round last year in Paris, had nine aces against one double-fault. There were only six breaks overall in the entire match.
“He was going for his shots all the time, not missing much,” Wawrinka told reporters, per Ravi Ubha of CNN.com.
ESPN Stats & Info provided context:
Stan Wawrinka wins in 5 sets, avoids becoming 1st defending #FrenchOpen champion in Open Era to lose his opening round match the next year.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 23, 2016
It’s fair to wonder how much fatigue played a factor. Wawrinka was just days removed from winning the Geneva Open, which caused him to arrive in France later than his competitors.
Full scores available here.
“For sure it’s late arriving for a Grand Slam, especially if you want to go far in a Grand Slam, but I think I’m feeling good. I’m feeling fit,” Wawrinka said Sunday at a press conference.
There was no such excuse for Murray, well-rested coming off a win in Rome and seemingly given a gimme in 37-year-old Radek Stepanek. The world No. 2 fell behind a set early amid some struggles with his serve. Stepanek converted both of his break-point opportunities in the 6-3 win, taking 16 of 34 receiving points overall.
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