Andy Murray’s return to the clay proved to be a chastening abilities as he misplaced in straight sets to Stan Wawrinka within the French Originate first spherical.
The 33-year-old Scot was neatly under the level of 2015 champion Wawrinka, who eased to a 6-1 6-3 6-2 victory.
Murray’s exit got here after British quantity one Dan Evans misplaced to Japan’s Kei Nishikori in a fluctuating five-setter.
Evans has misplaced on all three appearances within the major blueprint at Roland Garros after a 1-6 6-1 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 6-4 defeat.
British quantity three Cameron Norrie and qualifier Liam Broady are left to lift the flag within the males’s singles.
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Murray out of styles on clay return
Pleasure and one plot of disbelief greeted the blueprint which pitted Murray in opposition to fellow three-time Big Slam champion Wawrinka – who the Scot faced in his final match on clay over three years ago.
For Murray, it was a outstanding twist of fate which even left him “amused”. He had now not performed on the ground since a brutal five-contrivance semi-final in opposition to Wawrinka at Roland Garros in June 2017.
That proved to be the birth up of the hip effort which left him wanting two foremost surgeries and on the verge of retirement final year.
Wawrinka, 35, has furthermore considered his profession stalled by a knee injure in most popular years and it ended in loads of intrigue about how a poignant reunion between the 2 veterans at Roland Garros would pan out.
Somehow, it did now not prove being mighty of a contest as 16th seed Wawrinka ruthlessly brushed aside an out-of-styles Murray.
The Briton had beaten Wawrinka when they met within the European Originate final in Antwerp in October, but a repeat consequence never seemed seemingly.
The Swiss has climbed lend a hand up the rankings after finding manufacture and neatly being, exhibiting why in a one-sided first contrivance the set he broke serve three occasions and received two thirds of the aspects.
Murray’s first-serve percentage was down at a lowly 21% and that was punished by Wawrinka, whose heavy ball-striking was too mighty for Murray to manage with.
Even supposing Murray’s carrier sport a minute improved, he persisted to peep flat and unable to evoke the spirit which has considered him turn matches around so usually within the past.
Afterwards, Murray mentioned he was making an strive to be calmer on court docket after on a usual basis exhibiting his frustration all over matches in primarily the most up-tp-date Cincinnati Masters and US Originate.
“It was something that was brought up to me and I attempted to form of take care of my emotions in take a look at,” he mentioned.
“I dangle now not know whether that affected me in any system or now not, but that was doubtlessly why it was quieter than usual.”
Wawrinka maintained his level within the second and third sets as he persisted to punch holes in Murray’s defence, ending up with 42 winners as he cruised to victory in one hour and 37 minutes.
The match was performed on a frigid evening under the contemporary floodlights on an originate Court Philippe Chatrier, but Murray mentioned the stipulations weren’t a ingredient for his under-par performance.
“I didn’t play neatly. I served under 40% first serves within the court docket, which is merely now not splendid ample in opposition to anybody, and particularly someone as splendid as Stan,” he mentioned.
“You opt on to be serving within the 60%, that form of space. You received’t peep many players serve under 40% the leisure of the event.”
Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent
Murray had now not performed a clay-court docket match for added than three years earlier than this one.
He prioritised the US Originate whereas Wawrinka was coming into into some clay-court docket be conscious on the Challenger Tour. However the distinction between the 2 was aloof stark.
Murray accepts he received’t ever bodily be equivalent to he was, and performances esteem this quit manufacture you ponder whether he can ever comprise the affect he would dearly consume to comprise at Big Slams.
Motivation would possibly come in within the manufacture of Sweden’s outmoded world quantity one Mats Wilander, who asked on Eurosport whether Murray aloof has the merely to be taking wildcards from younger players.
The target for the leisure of the season is to play as mighty as likely – starting up with lend a hand-to-lend a hand indoor tournaments in Cologne next month.
Evans aloof browsing for an elusive Roland Garros maintain
Evans admitted he would possibly now not comprise been handed mighty more challenging a blueprint than Nishikori, who is ranked one contrivance under the Briton after injure complications at 35th on this planet.
So it proved. As soon as the evident disappointment subsides, Evans will be ready to take coronary heart from a gritty explain the set he persisted to dangle in and explain flashes of his quality.
The 30-year-old from Birmingham admits clay is now not his favourite ground and, with Nishikori now not rather in height condition, it transpired to be an participating and unpredictable fight between the pair.
Evans first and major seemed extra snug within the drizzle, allowing him to manufacture the quicker birth up in a 29-minute opening contrivance.
With the event taking contrivance in autumn in contrivance of its usual contrivance in Might per chance well presumably merely-June, the vastly different stipulations comprise been a mountainous talking level going into the event.
Each and every Evans and Nishikori were wrapped up in hoodies and long sleeves all over the nice and cozy-up, with the Japanese player persevering with to peep cool in an uninspired first-contrivance explain the set he received merely 12 aspects.
Alternatively, the match swung lend a hand in Nishikori’s favour in a second contrivance which mirrored the opener and then Evans needed to fight to drive a tie-breaker in a third lasting almost an hour and a half.
That momentum persisted in his favour as Nishikori’s level dropped over again within the fourth and it ended in a decider that no one would comprise dared predict.
Nishikori, though, has a outstanding winning document in five-contrivance matches – standing at 23-6 coming into this one. And, after surviving an Evans fightback from 3-0 down, over again showed his steeliness to come by means of the decisive moments.
Trailing 30-0 at 5-4, Nishikori remained focused and increased the depth to destroy Evans’ serve to clinch victory in three hours and 49 minutes.