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French Open: Alcaraz cruises; Wawrinka sends Murray packing

Last updated on: May 27, 2024 03:02 IST

Carlos Alcaraz

IMAGE: Spain's Carlos Alcaraz in action during his first round match against JJ Wolf of the United States. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Third seed Carlos Alcaraz made a winning start in his bid to claim a first French Open title when he beat American J.J. Wolf 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 without any issues on his troublesome arm on Sunday.


Last year's semi-finalist arrived at Roland Garros with only four matches under his belt on clay due to a right forearm problem that forced him to skip Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Rome, with his Madrid title defence also derailed by the problem.

Having admitted he still had lingering worries and sporting a compression sleeve, the 21-year-old Spaniard drew a few gasps from the crowd on Philippe Chatrier court when he dropped serve in the first game of the contest but he responded instantly.

French Open

IMAGE: JJ Wolf of the United States in action during his first round match against Spain's Carlos Alcaraz. Photograph: Lisi Niesner/Reuters

Wolf, a lucky loser from the qualifying tournament making his second appearance in the Paris main draw, struggled to keep up with his opponent thereafter and the 25-year-old was broken three times in a one-sided opening set.

Under grey skies, Alcaraz quickly doubled his advantage in the contest and then raced ahead 3-0 under the roof in the third set, after rain began falling, before closing out the match when Wolf sent a shot long.

Wawrinka sends Murray packing in first round

Stanislas Wawrinka

IMAGE: Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka celebrates after winning his first round match against Britain's Andy Murray. Photograph: Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

Former French Open champion Stan Wawrinka handed Andy Murray a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 first-round defeat under the lights at Roland Garros, prematurely ending what is likely the Briton's last appearance at the claycourt Grand Slam.

Switzerland's Wawrinka came into the clash having won two of the duo's three clashes at the major, including a draining five-setter in the 2017 semi-finals from which Murray's creaking hip never recovered and eventually forced him to have surgeries.

Having sent Murray packing in straight sets in the opening round four years ago, the 39-year-old Wawrinka shot out of the blocks again in the duo's 23rd career meeting by grabbing a break in the first game.

The 2015 champion wrapped up the opening set on the back of a couple of booming serves and pounced in the third game of the second set with a string of heavy single-handed backhands from the baseline to heap the pressure on Murray.

Murray, who at 37 has stated that he is unlikely to play beyond the summer, rode a wave of support at Philippe Chatrier court and battled on but was unable to prevent fellow three-times Grand Slam champion Wawrinka from going two sets up.

A medical timeout for Wawrinka's left calf issue delayed the start of the third set, but 2016 runner-up Murray's movement was also compromised due to an apparent leg issue that allowed his opponent to run away with the contest.

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