Spain’s Guillermo Garcia Lopez on Monday pulled off a big upset, stunning the 2017 French Open finalist Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland 6-2, 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 in the opening round of the Grand Slam event held on clay court.
The Spaniard, world No. 67, was more solid from the baseline than Wawrinka, a former top 10 player, in a match that lasted three and a half hours.
Wawrinka, currently world No. 30, has slipped from the top level of play that brought him to the 2017 final, where he lost in straight sets to Spain’s Rafael Nadal.
The Swiss player committed a total of 72 unforced errors, while struggling on serve.
After falling a set down, Wawrinka, who underwent a knee surgery in 2017, seemed to be on his way to the second round, as he made the most of the lone break point he created to draw level, and repeated the scenario in the next set to take a 2-1 lead.
However, in the pivotal fourth set, Wawrinka squandered four out of five break points he created and conceded his own serve once.
Wawrinka probably lamented these missed opportunities as the set went to a tie-break that Garcia Lopez won.
Garcia Lopez did not face a single break point in the decider and created six break points, two of which were enough to seal his fourth career win over Wawrinka out of 11 matches.
Next up for Garcia Lopez is Russia’s Karen Khachanov, who defeated Austria’s Andreas Haider Maurer.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic on Monday defeated Rogerio Dutra Silva of Brazil 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of the French Open, the second Grand Slam tennis event of the season, held on clay court.
Although he did not put on a stellar performance, Djokovic, a former world No. 1, was good enough to get past the world No. 134 in two hours and five minutes.
The 2016 Roland Garros champion fired 37 winners but committed 36 unforced errors, compared to Dutra Silva’s 21 and 32 respectively.
Djokovic, current world No. 22, faced a total of seven break points; he fended off four of them, conceding his serve once in each set.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion, however, was able to break his rival’s serve twice in each set to book a place in the second round, where he is set to play the winner of the all-Spanish match pitting David Ferrer and Jaume Munar.