World number three Stanislas Wawrinka, the reigning Australian Open champion, lost his opening round match at the Roland Garros 2014 tournament to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez of Spain 6-4, 5-7, 6-2, 6-0. The Swiss number one was a quarterfinalist a year ago in Paris and will lose significant ranking points after this tournament.
“I was trying to find my game, trying to find to be aggressive, trying to find anything, and I didn’t,” Wawrinka said.
Wawrinka became the first reigning Australian Open titlist to lose in the opening round of Roland Garros since 1998 (Petr Korda).
“It’s a tough loss, for sure,” he added. “I’m sad, but maybe it’s going to be very positive the rest of my season. Maybe it will put my ideas in the right place, and maybe it will give me answers to the questions I have for the rest of my season, for the rest of my career.”
Wawrinka had a stellar start of the European claycourt season when he won the Monte Carlo Masters. However, he lost early in the next two Masters event (Madrid Masters – 2nd round and Rome Masters – 3rd round).
“Everything goes so fine when I practise that I’m probably too demanding during the match, and I’m not happy when there are some small things not going the way I want them to go,” he said. “As I want to play better, I want to progress, I want to do better. Sometimes that’s negative for my game thinking about all these small things.”
“I’ve had ups and downs,” he admitted. “That’s why I’m saying I am not at the level of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer, because they have been around for many years, and they win everything. I know I’ll have the level. I could defeat them, but it’s different.
“I need to put the puzzle back together, find solutions, because the pressure is different. I’m not saying I have more pressure, but the pressure is different. My expectations are different.”
Garcia-Lopez, ranked 41st, extended his claycourt win streak to eight which included a title run in Casablanca.
“This match is very illustrative of the season I just had,” he said. “I’m very relaxed, and matches go very well. I think I’m not as overwhelmed by emotions as I used to be, and that’s the way I would talk about my season so far. I play my game at my level. I fight on every point.
“I had my foot on the accelerator 80 per cent, and when you play this kind of player, they try and destabilise you, but he did not manage because I felt very strong today. And I think at the end of the day what made him lose is that he was not so strong mentally, whereas I felt very comfortable.”