Stan Wawrinka, who is 39, beats Andy Murray, who is 37, at the French Open. Alcaraz and Osaka win

Stan Wawrinka repeatedly used his trademark one-handed backhand to get the better of Andy Murray at the French Open once again

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PARIS (AP) — After Stan Wawrinka ended Andy Murray's stay at the French Open yet again — and this time, it was perhaps Murray's last singles appearance at Roland Garros — the two long-time opponents, both in their late 30s, met at the net for a handshake, an embrace and a lengthy chat.

Wawrinka, whose trademark one-handed backhand helped him put together a 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 victory in the first-round contest Sunday night, then joined fans in applauding for Murray as he headed toward the locker room.

“It was emotional, for sure. We’re getting closer to the end,” said Wawrinka, who has won 10 of their 23 meetings since the first in 2005. “We have a lot of respect for each other.”

Wawrinka, at 39, is just the third man of at least that age to win a match at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament since 1980. Murray just turned 37, and this contest had the second-oldest combined age for two men in Paris since 2000.

“Obviously disappointed. ... He gave me very few opportunities,” said Murray, who was broken early in each set while going 0 for 2 on his break chances. “Physically, tennis is not easy for me nowadays."

By the end, his movement was not what it usually is, even after having hip replacement surgery several years ago. Murray recently returned after tearing ankle ligaments at the Miami Open in March and is 1-3 since coming back.

“My body isn't what it was 10 years ago. I'm fully aware of that,” he said.

Theirs was by far the most eagerly anticipated match of Day 1 at the clay-court Grand Slam tournament, featuring a pair of guys who each own a trio of major trophies.

It was not quite on the level of the Day 2 showcase — Rafael Nadal vs. Alexander Zverev — but it earned the high-profile spot in the night session at Court Philippe Chatrier and drew a crowd that loudly cheered when they stepped out under the lights.

Before play began Sunday, tournament director Amélie Mauresmo said she was putting off a planned farewell ceremony for Nadal, who most everyone figured would be competing at the French Open for the final time but said this weekend he didn't want to close the door on a return.

Similarly, Mauresmo said there wouldn't be that sort of adieu to Murray, who has indicated he might retire after this summer. As it is, he is not done in Paris, because he and Dan Evans received a wild-card entry for doubles.

This was his fourth consecutive appearance at the French Open that included a match against Wawrinka, who is 6-1 head-to-head on clay. Wawrinka won their 2015 semifinal in Paris, Murray won a five-set semifinal the next year, and Wawrinka won their first-round contest in 2020. Murray missed the event in 2021-23.

Both men drew gasps with hard-hit groundstrokes and both tossed in a bit of guile, too, including an early serve-and-volley from Wawrinka and a half-dozen drop shots from Murray in the second set alone.

Wawrinka, who has dealt with his own series of health issues over the years, goes on to meet No. 32 Cam Norrie or Pavel Kotov in the second round.

Other major titles champions who won Sunday included Carlos Alcaraz, Naomi Osaka, Sofia Kenin and Jelena Ostapenko. But 2021 French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova lost 7-6 (3), 6-4 to Viktorija Golubic — making the 24th-seeded Krejcikova 0-3 in Paris since going 7-0 three years ago to take the title.

Alcaraz arrived having missed time because of a forearm problem that made him afraid to hit his big forehands at full strength, but that did not appear to be an issue during a 6-1, 6-2, 6-1 victory over J.J. Wolf, an American who lost in qualifying and got into the field when another player withdrew.

Indeed, Alcaraz pronounced his arm “fully recovered,” although still “feeling weird.”

From Wolf’s vantage point across the net?

“He hit his forehand very well. It felt heavy to me,” Wolf said. “It had plenty on it.”

Osaka picked up her first victory at a Grand Slam tournament in more than two years, steadying herself after wasting a 4-0 lead in the third set to pull out a 6-1, 4-6, 7-5 win over Lucia Bronzetti of Italy.

Amanda Anisimova, an American who reached the 2019 semifinals at Roland Garros as a teenager, defeated Rebecca Šramková 7-6, 6-4. Anisimova had been 1-3 since returning from a groin muscle injury that sidelined her since she reached the Australian Open's fourth round in January.

“Not having the best start to my Europe swing wasn’t great. But I was going into it trying to really learn what I did wrong in those tournaments and see what I can adjust,” Anisimova said. “I’m just happy with the way I played and I fought.”

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