Stan Wawrinka, continuing his comeback from two surgeries on his left knee, opened his latest tournament with a win Monday.
The 33-year-old Swiss veteran defeated Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene 7-5, 7-6 (5) in the first round of the St. Petersburg (Russia) Open.
Wawrinka, a three-time Grand Slam champion currently ranked 88th in the world, improved his season record to just 14-14. He has advanced deep in just two of his 14 tournaments this year, making the semi-finals at Sofia, Bulgaria, in February and the quarter-finals at Geneva, Switzerland, in May.
A third-round loss in the recent U.S. Open marked Wawrinka’s best Grand Slam result of 2018 even though he played in all four tournaments.
In the only other main-draw singles match Monday, Slovakia’s Martin Klizan beat Russia’s Evgeny Donskoy 6-4, 6-4.
The St. Petersburg tournament’s top four seeds, including No. 1 Dominic Thiem of Austria, received first-round byes.
Yannick Maden, a lucky loser from qualifying who gained a main-draw place when another player dropped out, took advantage of his opportunity and posted a first-round win in Metz, France.
Maden defeated fellow German Mischa Zverev 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.
A 28-year-old ranked 120th in the world, Maden had posted just three previous ATP Tour wins this year, all in April — two at Budapest, Hungary, and one at Munich, Germany.
Lithuania’s Ricardas Berankis also advanced, edging past Germany’s Maximilian Marterer 7-6 (1), 6-7 (1), 6-4.
No. 1 Kei Nishikori of Japan and the other players among the top four seeds got first-round byes.
—Field Level Media