Paris, May 23 (IANS) Defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka completed a stirring comeback in the first round at the French Open tennis tournament on Monday, battling past Lukas Rosol 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Rosol was looking to make Wawrinka the first defending men’s singles champion to lose in the first round at Roland Garros, but the Swiss fought back hard to claim victory in three hours and 11 minutes on a cold and wet day.
The start of play was delayed for more than three hours due to rain. In their third meeting this year, the Czech broke for a 3-2 lead before going on to seal the opener against Wawrinka.
Wawrinka looked to be back on track when he raced through the second set to level the match, but Rosol again took an early lead in the third set and did not allow Wawrinka back in contention as he assumed a two-sets-to-one lead.
Wawrinka was denied an early break in the fourth set as Rosol saved four break points to level at 1-1. But the Swiss made a decisive move in the eighth game, breaking before serving out to send the match into a deciding set.
Wawrinka carried his momentum into the fifth, breaking in the third game and going on to close the win.
Eighth seed Milos Raonic made a strong start to his campaign, dismissing Janko Tipsarevic 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(5).
The Canadian hit 41 winners and converted four of his 15 break points to defeat Tipsarevic, who was playing just his second tour-level match since the 2015 US Open after being sidelined through foot and knee injuries.