Stan Wawrinka, Dominic Thiem advance in Monte Carlo

Jonathan Hui-USA TODAY Sports

Wild-card entries Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland and Dominic Thiem of Austria both won their first-round matches Monday at the Rolex Monte Carlo Masters in Monaco.

The 38-year-old Wawrinka rallied for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 victory against Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands, finishing the two-hour, 25-minute battle on his sixth match point.

“It was really important to stay calm with myself,” said Wawrinka, who won this event in 2014. “In the first round you need to find your game. The first match on clay is never easy against a good player. I am happy to get through. It was important to fight until the end.”

Both players finished with 36 winners, but Wawrinka was able to save 10 of 12 break points while converting all three of his break chances.

Wawrinka’s second-round opponent will be No. 8 seed Taylor Fritz.

Thiem picked up his first victory at an ATP Masters 1000 event since 2021 with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat of France’s Richard Gasquet.

Thiem registered six aces, won 87 percent of his first-service points (27 of 31) and never faced a break point. He converted 3 of 10 break chances and finished with 19 winners and just seven unforced errors.

“At the start I played very well,” said Thiem, 29. “It was good for me that I broke him. I was going ahead the whole match. I am pleased with the performance. Richard is in good form, he already won a tournament this year. It is always tough but at the same time nice to play him because he has such a nice game and is a legend of tennis.”

Up next for Thiem is No. 6 seed Holger Rune of Denmark.

Only two matches Monday involved seeded players. Argentina’s Francisco Cerundulo upset No. 11 Cameron Norrie of Great Britain 6-3, 6-4 and No. 14 Alex de Minaur of Australia defeated Great Britain’s Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3.

Americans Maxime Cressy and Mackenzie McDonald were both eliminated. Italy’s Matteo Berrettini defeated Cressy 6-4, 6-2 and Russian qualifier Ivan Gakhov outlasted McDonald 7-6 (6), 2-6, 6-3.

Gakhov will face No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the second round.

Other first-round winners on the clay Monday included Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, France’s Benjamin Bonzi, Britain’s Jack Draper, Australia’s Alexei Popyrin, Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman, Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff and the Netherlands’ Botic van de Zandschulp.

–Field Level Media

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