Seasoned stars Murray, Wawrinka make early Australian Open exits

MELBOURNE: Five-time runner-up Andy Murray and 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka have enjoyed plenty of deep runs at the Australian Open but the veteran pair were both dumped out in the first round today.

Murray fell 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry while Wawrinka took 20th seed Adrian Mannarino to five sets before going down 6-4, 3-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-0.

The last time Murray went out in the opening round of the Melbourne Park major was in 2019 when the Scot expressed doubts about his tennis future before going on to resurrect his career after having hip-resurfacing surgery.

The 36-year-old twice Wimbledon champion has struggled to reach the latter stages at Grand Slams in recent years but dragged himself into the third round in Melbourne in 2023 with back-to-back five-sets wins.

Wawrinka was the only player in the men's draw other than defending champion Novak Djokovic to have claimed the Melbourne Park trophy and the 38-year-old Swiss hoped today's loss would not be his final appearance at the Grand Slam.

"I'll see how the year goes. It's just the beginning of the year," Wawrinka said. "In general, I'm quite positive with where I am right now.

"Even after the loss, there is some good opportunity for me to keep pushing, keep playing some good results and hopefully I can come back next year." --REUTERS

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