Stan Wawrinka loses to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at French Open after five-set marathon

Stan Wawrinka became the first high-profile casualty of the men’s draw at the French Open after the former champion suffered a five-set defeat to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Wawrinka, finalist last year, arrived at Roland Garros short of match practice as the Swiss player continues his recovery from surgery on his left knee, an injury which forced him to miss the second half of last season.

Garcia-Lopez, who also beat the former world No 3 in the French Open first round in 2014, repeated the feat on Monday with a 6-2 3-6 4-6 7-6(7-5) 6-3 victory to progress to a second-round tie with Karen Khachanov.

Wawrinka set to tumble down world rankings

Wawrinka, who reached the final at Roland Garros last year, is projected to fall to world No 256 when the rankings are updated after the tournament.

The world No 67 Spaniard took the initiative in the contest as he broke twice and saved two break point opportunities on his way to winning the opening set before one break in the second set proved enough for Wawrinka to level proceedings.

Wawrinka maintained his momentum in a tight third set as he hit 13 winners on his way to moving ahead for the first time in the match.

The three-time Grand Slam champion appeared to be on course for victory as he broke early in the fourth but the Spaniard hit back and forced a decider after winning a tiebreak.

As Wawrinka struggled physically to remain at a high-level as the match approached its closing stages, Garcia-Lopez’s consistency and concentration saw him break his opponent twice and earn victory after three hours and 30 minutes on court.