PARIS – That Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka were back together on Court Philippe Chatrier, all these years and operations later, was something of an accomplishment — not to mention a rare first-round matchup between past Grand Slam champions.
Only one, Wawrinka, played like it.
Having no trouble smacking his one-handed backhand and other strokes through the thick air as the fall-time French Open got going Sunday, the barrel-chested Wawrinka needed just 97 minutes to overwhelm Murray 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.
The six games collected by Murray equaled the fewest he has managed in any of his 237 career Grand Slam matches; that also happened in a loss at Roland Garros in 2014 against 12-time champion Rafael Nadal.
“I’ll need to have a long, hard think,” said Murray, ranked 111th as he works his way back from two hip surgeries, “and try and understand what happened.”
One big problem: He didn’t serve well, putting only 36% of his first serves in play.
Another: He didn’t return particularly well either and won only 25% of points in Wawrinka’s service games.
Murray said those things weren’t related to his artificial hip.