Stan Wawrinka’s return to the ATP Tour at the Monte Carlo Masters ended in a battling three-set defeat to Alexander Bubilk, who said he continues to "hate" clay.
Wawrinka, 37, was playing for the first time on the tour in 13 months after undergoing two foot surgeries.
The 2015 French Open champion was hitting the ball crisply to start but faded over the two-hour match as Bubilk came through 3-6 7-5 6-2.
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Despite the result, Bublik was not exactly jumping for joy and said he is already looking forward to the grass season.
“The only thing I can say is I wish Stan a good recovery,” he told Amazon Prime.
"If he was in shape I wouldn’t be standing here. I wish the clay will end and we go onto grass! There was no match from my side, I hate clay, that is a statement - I hate this surface!
"I don’t think I turned anything around, he was not very healthy at the end of the second set and third set. It’s a clay court, it’s not for me."
Bublik faces 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round after he beat qualifier Sebastian Baez 6-4 4-6 6-2.
Wawrinka, who competed at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Marbella last week, looked in decent shape in the opening stages of the match as he broke to move 4-2 ahead.
There were trademark backhand winners and neat touches at the net from the three-time Grand Slam champion as he took the set.
However, Bubilk raised his game in the second set, particularly on serve as he fired down 10 aces, having not recorded any in the first set.
Wawrinka held off three break points in the 10th game but Bublik broke at the next attempt to level the match. Wawrinka’s lack of match practice showed in the third set as he was broken three time and Bubilk comfortably booked his place in the next round.
Ninth seed Jannik Sinner held off Borna Coric to win 6-3 2-6 while Diego Schwartzman fought back from a break down in the final set to beat Karen Khachanov 6-7(5) 6-3 6-3 in over three hours.
World No.16 Schwartzman looked to be heading for a surprise exit as he dropped serve to the Russian. However, Schwartzman won five of the last six games to seal his place in the next round.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's last appearance in Monte Carlo ended in swift fashion as he was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Marin Cilic.
Tsonga has announced he is retiring from tennis after the French Open.
Sebastian Korda eased past Botic van de Zandschulp 7-5 6-4 while 2019 champion Fabio Fognini won 7-5 4-6 6-3 against Arthur Rinderknech to set up a clash with defending champion Stefanos Tstisipas.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic faces Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in his opening match on Tuesday.
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