Wawrinka ends Murray’s French Open career

Andy Murray

Andy Murray’s French Open career ended Sunday when he went down to a straight sets first-round defeat to 2015 champion and fellow three-time Grand Slam title winner Stan Wawrinka who hailed the Briton as “a great champion”.

Murray, the runner-up at Roland Garros in 2016, lost 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in his last appearance at the tournament before retiring later this year.

Wawrinka becomes only the third man over the age of 39 to win a match at the French Open since 1980.

Murray, 37, had already announced he plans to retire later in the summer with Wimbledon and the Paris Olympics as the two high-profile events left on his schedule.

On Sunday, he left to a standing ovation from the crowd on Court Philippe Chatrier and Murray returned the gesture by applauding the fans.

Wawrinka, who has now defeated Murray three times in four meetings in Paris, described his opponent as a “great champion”.

The Swiss veteran goes on to face either Cameron Norrie of Britain or Russia’s Pavel Kotov for a place in the third round.

“My first words are for a great champion,” Wawrinka told Eurosport courtside after the pair’s 23rd career meeting.

“I have loved watching Andy play, loved fighting against him. We’ve had a lot of fights over the last 15 years. We are not very young so we did all we could and remember all these moments.”

He added: “I love to work in front of a crowd like this. I’ve shared a lot of emotion with this crowd and they gave me a lot of energy to fight.

“In my head, I’m still a young guy, still a kid.”