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Champion Wawrinka survives Rosol scare at French Open

AFP logoAFP 23-05-2016 Miguel Medina
Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka celebrates victory against Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic in the French Open first round on May 23, 2016 © Provided by AFP Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka celebrates victory against Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic in the French Open first round on May 23, 2016

Defending French Open champion Stan Wawrinka survived a huge first-round scare against Lukas Rosol on Monday, scraping his way to a 4-6, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in over three hours.

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Never at Roland Garros had the men's singles champion lost in the opening round the following year, but the third-seeded Swiss was in danger of making unwanted history after twice falling a set behind.

Wawrinka, who defeated the Czech on Friday in the Geneva Open semi-finals, dropped the opening set on Court Philippe Chatrier after surrendering his serve in game five.

The world number four rattled through the second set to level and seemingly get back on track, but 59th-ranked Rosol appeared on course for a repeat of his stunning 2012 win over Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon when he moved ahead once more in the third.

Wawrinka was forced to defend a pair of break points at 2-all in the fourth, with the Swiss then ripping a trademark cross-court backhand passing shot to move 5-3 ahead and send the contest to a fifth set.

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The defending champion forged ahead with a crucial break in the third game of the decider before closing it out to book a second-round match-up with Japan's Taro Daniel.

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