Wednesday, June 19, 2024

French Open 2024 results: Andy Murray loses to Stan Wawrinka after Jack Draper exit

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When Murray played Wawrinka in 2017, the pair were operating in the peaks of their careers.

But the physical exertions of the match – and that tournament – exacerbated a hip injury which derailed Murray’s career and later needed surgery to prolong it.

Being able to return to playing with a metal cap in his hip joint was something no other singles player had ever done – but the obstacles have continued to appear in his way.

The fact he has even been able to return to Roland Garros again this year is remarkable.

When Murray ruptured ankle ligaments in a Miami Open match on 24 March, the three-time Grand Slam champion feared he would not be able to say farewell to the place where he came runner-up to Novak Djokovic in 2016.

Murray did return but arrived with little expectation. Wawrinka had not won back-to-back matches since last year’s US Open, but he was much sharper than Murray and clinical when his chances arrived.

The tone for Murray’s evening was set when he lost serve in the first game of the night-session match. The Scot was unable to take two break points at 2-1 and came under more pressure himself at 0-40 4-2 before Wawrinka served out the opening set.

Murray lost serve again early in the second and chances to break back were rare until Wawrinka fought back from 0-30 5-4 to extend his advantage.

The third set was even more one-sided, sealed with another trademark backhand winner down the line from 2015 champion Wawrinka.

The pair shared a warm and long embrace at the net, where Wawrinka said he told Murray he was a “great champion”.

A poignant moment which demonstrated their mutual respect was followed by a standing ovation for Murray, who waved farewell on what could be his final appearance on Chatrier.

“It was a great match to play, to be on centre court, and play against Stan, who I’ve had great battles with, and a great crowd,” Murray said.

“But sitting here I would have put in a better performance, or had a closer match, or got through than to lose in the first round.”

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