After a tumultuous clay-court season, 3rd seed Stan Wawrinka enjoyed a confidence boosting win over unseeded Slovakian Jozef Kovalik to launch his 2017 French Open campaign. This comes a week after securing his 16th career title in Geneva, helping the 2015 champion to shake off early exits in Madrid, Rome and Monte Carlo.
The 3rd seed blasted through the first set 6-2 as Kovalik looked unsure of himself on the big stage. After that, the Slovakian steadied himself and battled the second set bravely. Some excellent play lent the challenger three set points in the tiebreaker, but he could convert none of them. Wawrinka secured the set on his first set point. Wawrinka then sailed through the third set relatively comfortably, securing a 6-2, 7-6, 6-3 victory with a trademark one-handed backhand down the line.
The Swiss will next face the unpredictable and talented Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov in what looks to be one of the most interesting second-round encounters. Dolgopolov, who will be looking to match his best results at Roland Garros with a third-round appearance, prevailed 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 over Carlos Berlocq.