Stan Wawrinka draws attention to absence of French Open crowds in VIP section during high-profile 1R clash with Andy Murray

Stan Wawrinka not happy with turnout in VIP seats during French Open 2024 1R win (Source: GETTY)
Stan Wawrinka not happy with turnout in VIP seats during French Open 2024 1R win (Source: GETTY)

Stan Wawrinka expressed disappointment over the poor turnout in the VIP area of the Philipp-Chatrier during his win against Andy Murray at the 2024 French Open on Sunday, 26 May. This is not the first time the Swiss has challenged the status quo regarding seating at the big tournaments.

Wawrinka was in top form during his 23rd career meeting with Murray, surrendering only ten games in their first-round encounter in Paris. The former World No. 3 won nearly 80% of his first-serve points and hit 35 winners to seal the deal in two hours and 19 minutes.

In an interview following the win, Stan Wawrinka took exception to the lack of box seat tickets being sold to fans. According to The Times' Stuart Fraser,

"It (empty VIP area seats) did not go unnoticed on the court. Wawrinka (said): 'I think in general it was quite full, the stadium. Not the presidential [area], but the stadium, yes.'" Stuart Fraser reported on X.

The 39-year-old doubled down on his comments in the quote-repost of Fraser's post an hour later.

"Yep 🤦," Stan Wawrinka wrote on his X handle.

Wawrinka had also expressed his displeasure with the lack of crowds during his country's World Group qualifying fixture against France in the United Kingdom during last year's Davis Cup. To make his point, the Swiss had uploaded a video of empty seats at the event venue on his X account.

He had also tagged Gerard Pique, who was behind the Davis Cup format's overhaul in 2019, and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in his address.

"Thank you @3gerardpique @ITFTennis @DavisCup France vs Switzerland in Manchester lol," Wawrinka had written on X.

Stan Wawrinka gets the better of Andy Murray in their fourth clash at the French Open

Stan Wawrinka has now defeated Andy Murray in three of their four meetings at Roland-Garros. The Swiss lost in his first outing on the terre battue against the Brit in 2016, but has since turned the tide on him in their claycourt rivalry.

Andy Murray beat Stan Wawrinka at the 2016 French Open
Andy Murray beat Stan Wawrinka at the 2016 French Open

Murray had to dig deep to down Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 in their semifinal clash eight years ago. The three-time Major winner would take his revenge against the former World No. 1 at the same stage the following year, hitting a flurry of winners past him to win 6-7(6), 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(3), 6-1.

Their third encounter in Paris was relatively underwhelming, as Stan Wawrinka got the better of Andy Murray 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round.

The Brit was not at his best during their most recent French Open encounter too. He had been on a two-month injury layoff earlier this year and barely got enough match practice for the clay court Major. He went down to Wawrinka 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in a meeting similar to their last face-off at Roland-Garros.

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