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Rome Masters 2018: Stan Wawrinka and David Ferrer bow out in first round

675   //    14 May 2018, 13:19 IST

The Internazionali BNL d'Italia 2018 - Day One
Stan Wawrinka

Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka’s comeback from injury proved to be short-lived as he fell in the first round of the Internazionali BNL D’Italia in Rome on Sunday. Joining him on the sidelines was former French Open runner-up David Ferrer.

Wawrinka, a runner-up at the Italian capital in 2008, was shown the door 4-6, 4-6 by the 48th ranked Steve Johnson in a contest that lasted 1 hour 21 minutes. The 33-year-old committed 30 unforced errors to Johnson’s 17 and conceded two breaks of serve.

This was the first match for the Swiss since retiring against Ilya Ivashka in his opening match at Marseille in February due to a left knee injury.

The 2015 French Open champion’s woes started after making it to his second final in Paris last year. He played only a couple of tournaments after that and failed to win even a single round.

Wawrinka called time on his 2017 season subsequently to undergo two surgeries on his left knee in August. The Swiss made the decision to resume competitive play in January when he returned to the Australian Open, where he was beaten in the second round.

He played three more events to test himself against the top players before going on a three-month sabbatical to give himself time to heal completely.

Despite the loss in Rome, Wawrinka insisted the result did not bother him as he started playing only 12 days ago.

The 36-year-old David Ferrer’s first outing in a competitive tournament on clay this year too did not last long as he was beaten 3-6, 4-6 by the 13th seeded Jack Sock. The Spanish veteran was playing his first match since becoming a father at the beginning of this month.

Ferrer was last seen in action at the Davis Cup quarter-finals in April, where he beat Philipp Kohlschreiber in a gruelling five-setter to send Spain into the semi-finals.

In some of the other matches of the day, 12th seed Sam Querrey lost 2-6, 6-7(7) to the 53rd ranked Peter Gojowczyk. Ryan Harrison beat Yuichi Sugita 7-6(5), 6-3 and Italy’s World No. 140 Lorenzo Sonego outlasted the 27th ranked Adrian Mannarino 2-6, 7-6(4), 6-3.