Marathon man: Stan Wawrinka plays a backhand return to Albert Ramos-Vinolas

Paris (AFP) - Former champion Stan Wawrinka shrugged off his 38 years to reach the French Open second round on Monday, winning a five-set marathon against Albert Ramos Vinolas which stretched to four hours and 35 minutes.

Wawrinka, ranked 89 in the world, came through 7-6 (75), 6-4, 6-7 (27), 1-6, 6-4 and will next face Australia’s world number 108 Thanasi Kokkinakis after winning a match at Roland Garros for the first time since 2020.

Wawrinka, a three-time major winner including his 2015 French Open victory, has been battling a series of knee injuries in recent years.

The former world number three missed four successive majors after the 2021 Australian Open before returning in Paris last year.

However, he was defeated in the first round at the French Open and then at Wimbledon, the US Open and this year’s Australian Open.