Former Champion Stan Wawrinka Secures Comeback Victory at Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters

11 April, 2023

Former champion Stan Wawrinka made a winning start at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters on Monday. The Swiss star came from behind to defeat Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in front of a packed crowd on Court Rainier III. Wawrinka, a former World No. 3, hit 35 winners and needed six match points to secure victory in two hours and 25 minutes.

The 38-year-old’s comeback win in the first round earned him his 22nd victory at the ATP Masters 1000 event, which he won in 2014. Wawrinka, who has lifted seven of his 16 tour-level trophies on clay, including Roland Garros in 2015, said it was crucial to remain calm during the match against Griekspoor.

“In the first round you need to find your game. The first match on clay is never easy against a good player. I am happy to get through. It was important to fight until the end,” Wawrinka said.

Wawrinka will face eighth-seeded American Taylor Fritz in the second round. Fritz has been in good form, winning multiple tournaments recently, and Wawrinka expects a tough match.

“He is an amazing player. He is Top 10, been winning a lot of matches. Winning a lot of tournaments. He is very dangerous on many surfaces,” Wawrinka said of Fritz.

Meanwhile, Francisco Cerundolo caused an upset by defeating World No. 14 Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-4 to earn his seventh Top 20 win. The Argentine won 90% of his first-serve points and hit 24 winners to advance in 72 minutes. Cerundolo arrived in Monte-Carlo on the back of a quarter-final run in Miami, where he defeated Top 10 star Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Cerundolo will face either Matteo Berrettini or Maxime Cressy in the second round. The 24-year-old Argentinian, who won his only tour-level title on clay in Bastad last season, said he is feeling confident and looking forward to his next match.

The Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters is one of the most prestigious clay-court tournaments on the ATP Tour. The tournament features the world’s top players, including Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Stefanos Tsitsipas, who are all looking to lift the trophy this year. Explore more Tennis news by visiting Nextbet