Guillermo Garcia-Lopez: I always believed I would win
Monday's result will see his ranking plummet from 30th to outside the top 250 in the world when the new standings are released on June 11.
His inability to defend the 1200 ranking points he earned in Paris last year, combined with the knee injury that shut down his 2017 season last June, means he has effectively hit rock bottom as he will be left with around 210 points - good enough for 261st place this week.
To gain entry into events, he will now have to request wildcards, and rely on the goodwill of tournament organisers, if he wants to regain his place among the tennis elite.
Rather then getting worked up about his misfortune, Wawrinka put a positive spin on his predicament because as far as he is concerned the only way for him now is upwards and onwards.
"When you're out of the tour because of injury, for sure your ranking will drop because you didn't play," the 2015 Roland Garros champion told reporters following his 6-2 3-6 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 defeat by Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
"The ranking doesn't lie. If you play you are at the top. If you don't play, you're getting down. For sure, I'm going to require some wildcards. But again, if I have to play some (lower tier) challenger (tournaments), I have no problem with that.
"I know exactly where I want to be. I won three Grand Slams in my career and I know what it takes to do it. My goal is to get to back to the top. Sooner or later I will be."
Rather than being in the doldrums about his defeat on Monday, Wawrinka was encouraged that his surgically repaired knee did not buckle under the pressure of playing a five-set match for the first time in a year.
"Today I lost ... but at the end of the day, if I look at my level, I'm closer to where I want to be than (what) the ranking (says)," said the 33-year-old, who has won only four matches this year.
"I knew that following the surgery, it will take at least a year to get where I want to be.
"I'm on the right way. I'm playing well. The knee is keeping up and physically I am (feeling) stronger every day. So I need to keep pushing myself to get where I want to be. I was very close today."
Highlights: Garcia-Lopez stuns Wawrinka
For someone who is often labelled a hothead, it is perhaps no surprise that Benoit Paire's head is burning.
The Frenchman dyed his hair platinum blond last week and even if it did not prevent him from beating Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena in the first round of the French Open on Monday, it is causing him some issues.
"It's a bit difficult to manage when I play... I went from white to yellow to grey," Paire, who is well known for losing his temper on court, told reporters.
"So the hairdresser is trying to arrange things these days. But I'm trying to get out of it. My hair is very damaged. It's burnt. My head is burning." To make matters worse, Paire is also suffering from stomach problems.
"I think I caught a virus two days ago, three days ago," he said. "I believe I'm not the only one with it. So I had to go to the men's room at the end of the second set. I took two or three medications for my stomach ache."
At least Paire's face is not burning as he has kept his beard intact, and black. The world number 51 next faces Japanese Kei Nishikori -- in between hairdresser's appointments.