PARIS – What was billed as an opening day classic between two old warriors turned into a damp squib as Stan Wawrinka crushed Andy Murray 6-1 6-3 6-2 at the French Open on Sunday.
The last time they met on Court Philippe Chatrier, in the 2017 semi-final, Wawrinka came through a five-set slugfest but this time it proved a painfully one-sided affair against a flat Murray.
When the opening three games on a near-empty showcourt took around 20 minutes, another battle royal looked possible between the players who both own three Grand Slam titles.
But as 16th seed Wawrinka, champion in Paris in 2015, raised his game, Murray, who wore black leggings on a chilly day, capitulated alarmingly with his trademark battling qualities conspicuous by their absence.
Swiss 35-year-old Wawrinka struck 42 winners to Murray’s 10 as he powered to victory in one hour 37 minutes.