Tennis: Wawrinka loses on return after year out injured

MONTE CARLO (AFP) – Stan Wawrinka misplaced to Alexander Bublik within the opening spherical of the Monte Carlo Masters on Monday (April 11) because the three-time Grand Slam champion performed his first ATP Tour match in 13 months.

Wawrinka, who received the Monte Carlo title in 2014, was overwhelmed 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 by Bublik on his return from a left foot harm that pressured him to bear two surgical procedures final year.

“I’m still far away from where I want to be, but I think I’m (going in) the right direction,” stated Wawrinka.

The 37-year-old was unable to keep up the momentum towards Bublik, 24, who claimed his first win on the occasion in two hours and 5 minutes.

“I think today was a positive match. It was a tough loss, of course, but I’m happy with the way I was playing,” continued wild card entry Wawrinka.

“The physique’s getting significantly better.

“I was playing better, feeling better on the court of course physically. I spent a lot of mental energy to focus, to stay there as it was tough at the end. But I’m happy with what I have done today.” The former world quantity three has dropped to 236 within the rankings having final performed on the primary tour in Qatar in March 2021.

The Swiss took his first tentative steps again on court docket at a second-tier Challenger occasion in Marbella final month however was defeated within the first spherical.

Bublik, ranked thirty sixth, will meet Pablo Carreno Busta within the second spherical, the Spaniard getting previous Argentine qualifier Sebastian Baez 6-4, 4-6, 6-2.

Argentine Federico Delbonis beat Jaume Munar 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to arrange a conflict with second seed Alexander Zverev of Germany.

Italy’s Fabio Fognini, ranked 32, took 2hr 29min to get previous France’s Arthur Rinderknech 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, and subsequent meets Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Fellow Italian Jannik Sinner beating Croat Borna Coric 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.

Argentine Diego Schwartzman battled previous Russian Karen Khachanov 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 6-3 with the twelfth seed subsequent dealing with Hungarian Marton Fucsovics within the second spherical.

On Tuesday, World primary Novak Djokovic will return to motion towards forty sixth ranked Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The Serb’s solely look in 2022 was in Dubai in February the place he performed simply three matches attributable to his refusal to get vaccinated towards Covid-19.

This year’s match is being performed in entrance of full crowds for the primary time since 2019 after the 2020 occasion was cancelled and the 2021 version staged behind closed doorways.

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