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Zverev crashes as Murray, Wawrinka move on

  • Published at 07:40 am May 31st, 2017
Zverev crashes as Murray, Wawrinka move on
Alexander Zverev, the man seen as a potential French Open champion, crashed out in the first round Tuesday as world number one Andy Murray and former winner Stanislas Wawrinka moved through. Zverev, just 20 and fresh from his sensational Rome Masters demolition of Novak Djokovic, slumped to a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 defeat to Spain's Fernando Verdasco, 13 years his senior. In a match controversially suspended on Monday at one set each, Zverev was defeated in a fog of mistakes and despondency. The beanpole German committed 50 unforced errors and drew jeers from the Philippe Chatrier court crowd when he took out his frustration by hammering his racquet into the clay. Left-handed Verdasco, playing his 14th Roland Garros and 56th consecutive major, had lost to Zverev in the first round on clay in Madrid earlier this year. But he is an experienced Grand Slam competitor, making the last 16 in Paris on five occasions. Murray, the 2016 runner-up to Djokovic, shrugged off a second set wobble to defeat Russia's Andrey Kuznetsov 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0. Top seed Murray will play Martin Klizan of Slovakia who was accused of faking an injury in his five-set win over French wildcard Laurent Lokoli. Lokoli was so angry at Klizan's actions on court that he refused to shake hands. [caption id="attachment_66239" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka returns against Slovakia's Jozef Kovalik REUTERS[/caption] Third seed and 2015 champion Wawrinka was an easy winner, defeating Slovakian qualifier Jozef Kovalik 6-2, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3. Wawrinka saved two set points in the second set tiebreaker before going on to down the 152nd-ranked qualifier. Juan Martin del Potro marked his return to the French Open after an absence of five years by defeating Argentine compatriot Guido Pella 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. Japanese eighth seed Kei Nishikori was also a first round winner, beating unranked Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. In the women's event, Romanian third seed and 2014 runner-up Simona Halep cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 win over Slovakia's Jana Cepelova. Halep, who had described her chances of playing in Paris as "50-50" due to an ankle ligament injury, will face Germany's Tatjana Maria for a place in the last 32. Taiwan's Hsieh Su-Wei, the world number 109, stunned seventh seed Johanna Konta 1-6, 7-6 (7/2), 6-4. Konta is the second top 10 woman to lose in the first three days after world number one Angelique Kerber was dumped out in the first round. Konta has yet to win one match in the main draw in three attempts. There were no such problems for fifth-seeded Rome champion Elina Svitolina as the 2015 quarter-finalist defeated Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-3. Canada's Eugenie Bouchard, a semi-finalist in 2014, shook off a right ankle injury to recover from 0-5 down in the first set to beat Rise Ozaki of Japan 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.