French Open: Andy Murray ‘won’t brush aside’ heavy loss to Stan Wawrinka

Andy Murray after his French Open defeat by Stan Wawrinka
Murray lost in the French Open first round for the first time since his debut at Roland Garros in 2006

Andy Murray says he will not “just brush aside” a comprehensive three-set defeat by Swiss 16th seed Stan Wawrinka in the French Open first round.

The 33-year-old Scot won just six games in what was the joint heaviest Grand Slam defeat of his career.

It was his first appearance on a clay court since June 2017 following the hip injury which almost led to retirement.

“I should be analysing that hard and trying to understand why the performance was like that,” he said.

Former world number one Murray looked flat throughout the 6-1 6-3 6-2 defeat and was punished as fellow three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka hit through him in a clinical display.

A low first-serve percentage of 37% heavily contributed to the defeat, with Murray making 26 unforced errors and landing just 10 winners.

That led to his most comprehensive loss at a major since Rafael Nadal beat him 6-3 6-2 6-1 in the 2014 French Open semi-finals.

Several players have been critical of the conditions at Roland Garros, which is being played in colder and damper weather with the tournament having been moved back from its usual May-June slot because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The introduction of a new, heavier ball has also led to some complaints.

Murray’s match was played under floodlights on an open Court Philippe Chatrier on a chilly Parisian night, but he said the conditions were not a factor in his below-par performance.

“I don’t feel like that’s a valid reason,” he said. “Maybe to not enjoy the matches as much when it’s like that, but not in terms of it affecting your performance in any way.

“I need to have a long, hard think about it.

“It’s not for me the sort of match I would just brush aside and not give any thought to.”

Broady and Norrie carry British hopes in the men’s draw

Murray’s defeat followed the exit of British number one Dan Evans, who lost a fluctuating five-setter against former world number four Kei Nishikori, earlier on the opening day of the tournament on Sunday.

That leaves qualifier Liam Broady and British number three Cameron Norrie as the nation’s only remaining hopes in the men’s singles.

Broady, 26, qualified for the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career at the 12th attempt.

His reward for winning three qualifying matches at Roland Garros is an opener against Czech Jiri Vesely at about 14:00 BST.

Norrie, ranked 77th, follows Broady on court 14 against Colombian world number 153 Daniel Galan.

BBC News