Paris: Defending French Open champion Stan Wawrinka reached the third round yesterday after labouring to a 7-6 (9/7), 6-3, 6-4 win over Japan's Taro Daniel.
Stan Wawrinka returns to Japan's Taro Daniel in the second round of the French Open. Pic/AFP
The third-seeded Swiss fended off two set points against world number 93 Daniel in an opening tie-break, and Wawrinka was also forced to rally from a break down in the third set before wrapping up a straight-sets victory.
Having narrowly avoiding becoming the first reigning Roland Garros champion to lose in the first round when he was taken to five sets by Lukas Rosol, Wawrinka was relieved to eventually come through unscathed against a player with just one Grand Slam win to his name.
"I'm happy to get through in three sets. For sure it was some up and down, could have been better, but winning three sets, it's always good, and in general I think it's been a good day," said Wawrinka.
"I think he was playing well. I had a lot of opportunities to break, to take the lead. I didn't and he started to play better."