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‘We’re getting closer to the end:’ Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray share ‘emotional’ French Open embrace following Swiss’ win

By Matias Grez, CNN

(CNN) — Stan Wawrinka turned back the clock to play his “best match of the year” as he eased past fellow tour veteran Andy Murray 6-4 6-4 6-2 in the first round of the French Open.

The pair have produced some brilliant battles over the years, but Sunday’s match was a more one-sided affair with Murray’s clock still firmly in 2024 – the Scot, who is world No. 75, has lost nine of the 14 matches he’s played this year.

The 37-year-old Murray and Wawrinka, both three-time grand slam champions, met at the net after the match, embracing, smiling and chatting for around 20 seconds before shaking hands with the umpire.

“It was emotional, for sure,” the 39-year-old Wawrinka said, per the ATP. “We’re getting closer to the end and we played so many times over the past 20 years.

“A lot of emotion. [It] was amazing to be on the Chatrier night session, something I never had a chance to do. And, yeah, he’s [an] amazing guy, amazing player, such a big fighter. We have a lot of respect for each other.

“I think I played my best match of the year,” Wawrinka, the 2017 French Open champion, added. “I think I was feeling good. I was moving well. I was playing aggressive. I liked the conditions, and I’m super happy with the performance and the level. It’s really positive for me.”

Murray, playing in his first French Open since another first-round defeat to Wawrinka in 2020, suffered an early break of serve in each set and was never able to recover.

The Scot, a finalist in Paris in 2016, has now likely made his last singles appearance at Roland Garros after saying earlier this year that it would likely be his last season on tour.

Murray had been battling an ankle injury he picked up at the Miami Open in March and though he avoided surgery, his preparations were clearly hampered by a lack of playing time.

“It was always going to be tough, tough match,” Murray said, per the BBC. “Stan has, over the years, played brilliant tennis on that court.

“I was expecting him to play very well. I think he did that. He gave me very few opportunities. I wish I could have done a little bit better.”

While Wawrinka marches on into the second round to face either Cameron Norrie or Pavel Kotov, Murray will now turn his attention to the men’s doubles where he is paired with fellow Brit Dan Evans.

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