Andy Murray enters second round, Stan Wawrinka crashes out of Queen’s
There was also an upset at Halle as former champion Tomas Berdych made an early exit.
After a gap of two years, the tennis world once again had the very familiar sight of Andy Murray playing a match under the watchful eyes of Ivan Lendl as the Scot made a winning start to his second stint with the former World No. 1 at the Aegon Championships in London on Tuesday.
It was not an easy affair for the top-seeded Murray. He was playing Nicolas Mahut, who was fresh off his third title at Den Bosch that he won just a day back. A grass specialist, the Frenchman was expected to make it difficult for the four-time Queen’s champion yet Murray was able to pull through 7-6(8), 7-6(1), riding on a barrage of 15 aces.
Next up for him is his compatriot Aljaz Bedene, who carved out a tough 7-6(6), 6-7(7), 6-4 win over another Frenchman Benoit Paire in a two-and-a-half hour battle.
Bad day for Wawrinka
But another two-time Major champion saw his good fortunes deserting him pretty early. Stan Wawrinka, the second seed, had recently roped in former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek to help him sharpen his grasscourt game. But on Tuesday, it was evident that he definitely needed a lot more practice.
The Swiss struggled mightily on the wet conditions at the Queen’s Club and slumped to a 2-6, 6(3)-7 defeat to the lefty Spaniard Fernando Verdasco. The World No. 53 broke Wawrinka twice in the first set and played a great second set tie-break to earn the 1 hour 28 minute victory.
The World No. 5 had his chances, though. He was presented with as many as eight break point opportunities but he failed to convert any.
There was also disappointment for former champion Grigor Dimitrov who fell 6(5)-7, 6-4, 3-6 to former World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic. This was the first ATP Tour-level win for the Serb since April, 2015.
Berdych upset in Halle
At the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, fourth seed and 2007 champion Tomas Berdych was an early casualty as he was shown the door 6(3)-7, 6(4)-7 by the 42nd ranked Marcos Baghdatis. The Cypriot thundered 10 aces for the win.
Meanwhile, rising talent Alexander Zverev continues to make his mark on the circuit. The 19-year-old put in a mature performance to get the better of seventh seed Viktor Troicki 6-4, 6-4. The World No. 38 converted all the three break points that he got.
Top seed Roger Federer will open his campaign on Wednesday against the 88th ranked Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany.