Stan Wawrinka has beaten eighth seed Grigor Dimitrov in the first round of the US Open at Flushing Meadows in New York. The Swiss wildcard has happy memories from his time at Arthur Ashe Stadium after winning the title in 2016, but was unable to defend it last year because of injury.
Wawrinka underwent two knee operations in 2017 but showed no ill effects of the injury as he beat Dimitrov 6-3 6-2 7-5 to progress through to the second round.
It is the second consecutive Grand Slam in which the 33-year-old has beaten Dimitrov in round one, having come from a set down to win at Wimbledon in July, and admitted he had to be at his best to go through on this occasion.
“The last time I played on this great court I won the title, so it was great to be able to come back and play again,” Wawrinka said after the match.
“The level was really high. There were lots of emotions out there. It’s always tough to play your best in the first round.”
Three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka will now face Frenchman Ugo Humbert in the second round.