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Australian Open champ stunned in first round

PARIS — The positive vibes and big-deal victories began for Stan Wawrinka at last year's U.S. Open, back when he still went by "Stanislas," and picked up steam at this year's Australian Open, where he earned the right to forever be called "major champion."

All of that seemed so far away late Monday at the French Open as dusk approached — and defeat became apparent — in Wawrinka's first Grand Slam match since winning his first major title.

Surprisingly, Wawrinka looked listless. More stunningly, he looked very little like a guy who was seeded No. 3 behind Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic and proclaimed himself "one of the favorites" just a few days earlier.

In by far the biggest development of the tournament's first two days, Wawrinka bowed out in the first round at Roland Garros with a 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0 loss to 41st-ranked Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain.

"The match wasn't good at all," Wawrinka said. "I don't have an answer why I didn't play that good."

He is the first Australian Open champ to exit in the first round of that year's French Open since Petr Korda in 1998.

Garcia-Lopez has never been past the third round at a Grand Slam tournament.

Wawrinka lost in the first round in Paris for the first time since 2006, when he was 21. Nadal and Djokovic, meanwhile, looked very much like the top two seeds.

When No. 2 Djokovic's first-round victory in the main stadium was interrupted late in the second set by a shower, he pulled a white windbreaker over his head, plopped down on his changeover bench and invited a ball boy to sit. Djokovic lightened the kid's load by offering to hold a green and brown tournament umbrella, exchanging it for a racket. Then Djokovic handed over a Perrier, grabbed his own orange-colored drink and the pair clinked bottles, sipped, then had a conversation.

"We had a nice chat. He's a tennis player, so I asked him how long he's (been) playing and how he's enjoying his time as a ball kid," Djokovic related with a smile. "Fun time."

It's all fun and games when you're on your way to a 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory against 44th-ranked Joao Sousa of Portugal.

Nadal won 6-0, 6-3, 6-0 over American Robby Ginepri, a 279th-ranked Georgian who had the misfortune of facing the eight-time champion Monday.

Earlier, Maria Sharapova needed little more than an hour to beat Ksenia Pervak 6-1, 6-2. She broke Pervak five times and finished with 17 winners.

Today's key matches

Men: David Ferrer (5) vs. Igor Sijsling; Andy Murray (7) vs. Andrey Golubev; Grigor Dimitrov (11) vs. Ivo Karlovic

Women: Li Na (2) vs. Kristina Mladenovic; Simona Halep (4) vs. Alisa Kleybanova; Ana Ivanovic (11) vs. Caroline Garcia

TV: 5 a.m., ESPN2; 10 a.m., Tennis Channel.

.FAST FACTS

Today's key matches

Men: David Ferrer (5) vs. Igor Sijsling; Andy Murray (7) vs. Andrey Golubev; Grigor Dimitrov (11) vs. Ivo Karlovic

Women: Li Na (2) vs. Kristina Mladenovic; Simona Halep (4) vs. Alisa Kleybanova; Ana Ivanovic (11) vs. Caroline Garcia

TV: 5 a.m., ESPN2; 10 a.m., Tennis Channel.

Australian Open champ stunned in first round 05/26/14 [Last modified: Monday, May 26, 2014 8:22pm]
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