Monte Carlo (Principality of Monaco) (AFP) – Reigning French Open champion Stan Wawrinka made a successful start to his clay season with a 7-6 (7/2), 7-5 defeat of Philipp Kohlschreiber on Wednesday at the Monte Carlo Masters.
World number four Wawrinka, who beat compatriot Roger Federer in the final to win the 2014 title at the Monte Carlo Country Club, will line up in the third round against French 15th seed Gilles Simon.
Wawrinka is attempting to build momentum on clay this spring as his May return date to Roland Garros looms.
Breaks were exchanged at the start of the match before Wawrinka ultimately took the first set in a tie-break.
The Swiss squandered a 3-1 lead in the second set but broke Kohlschreiber again in the 11th game before sealing victory in one hour and 37 minutes.
French 16th seed Benoit Paire defeated Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-4, 6-3 to reach the third round.