On Monday, former champion Stan Wawrinka beat Tallon Griekspoor 5-7 6-3 6-4 to advance to the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters, while Andy Murray’s return to the competition for the first time since 2017 resulted in a defeat to Alex de Minaur.
After losing a close first set, Wawrinka appeared to be in danger of losing his opening match for the second consecutive year. However, the 38-year-old found a way back into the match by dominating the second and secured an early break in the final.
Griekspoor defeated Wawrinka in their only prior meeting in 2018 and put up a strong fight to tie the score at 3-3 before giving up his serve once more, allowing the Swiss veteran to take the lead and win the match on his sixth matchpoint.
The oldest competitor in this year’s field and 2014 champion Wawrinka noted, “It was incredibly crucial to keep calm with myself.”
“You need to find your game in the opening round. A good player in the first clay match is never an easy opponent. I’m relieved to have succeeded. It was crucial to persevere in the fight.”
The three-time Grand Slam winner will next face Taylor Fritz, the top-ranked player in the world.
About the American, Wawrinka praised him as a “great player.” “He’s been dominating bouts and is in the top 10. winning lots of competitions. He is particularly hazardous on a variety of surfaces.”
After several competitors, including world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz and 11-time champion Rafa Nadal, withdrew owing to injuries, Murray was given straight entrance into the coveted tournament.
Because to hip issues, the former world number one had a difficult time playing on a clay court competition and lost to Australian De Minaur in 86 minutes, 6-1, 6-3.
The number one player in the world, Novak Djokovic, will rejoin the circuit on Tuesday after being disqualified from events in Indian Wells and Miami last month because he was unable to obtain special authorization to enter the country without a COVID-19 vaccination.
The 22-time Grand Slam champion has been practicing more on clay in anticipation of the French Open, which starts next month. His most recent match was in early March in Dubai.
The Russian qualifier Ivan Gakhov, who defeated the American Mackenzie McDonald 7-6(6) 2-6 6-3, will be his opponent.
After defeating the 11th seed Cameron Norrie 6-3 6-4, Francisco Cerundolo will face Matteo Berrettini, who defeated Maxime Cressy 6-4 6-2 to earn his first victory of the competition.
Later, Dominic Thiem, a former U. S. Open champion, will play Richard Gasquet.