Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 21st 2017 Contents A44 sports
guardian.co.tt Wednesday, June 21, 2017
LONDON---Top-ranked Andy Murray headed a
list of high-profile departures in the first round
at Queen's yesterday, with the Wimbledon cham-
pion losing to a player who found out he was
competing only on the morning of the match.
Murray put in a sloppy and error-prone display in
losing to 90th-ranked Jordan Thompson 7-6 (4), 6-2,
joining Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic in getting
eliminated on a day of shocks at the Wimbledon war-
mup event. They were the top three seeds.
Thompson, who lost in the final round of qualifying
on Sunday, stepped up to play Murray following the
withdrawal early Tuesday of Aljaz Bedene because of a
wrist injury. Thompson played the match of his life---
but was given a helping hand by the erratic Murray, the
defending and five-time champion in west London.
The Australian sealed victory with an ace down
"Definitely the biggest win of my career," Thomp-
"Yesterday, I was sitting around, hoping to be able
to get a game," he added, "but there weren't too many
matches yesterday. I was always coming in, trying
to sign in, and here I am in the draw. I'm so lucky." It
was Murray's first loss at Queen's since 2014, ended
his 14-match winning run on grass dating to 2015,
and is a setback to his preparation for Wimbledon,
which starts on July 3.
"It's a big blow, for sure," said Murray, whose fore-
hand was particularly errant and had a first-serve
percentage of just 55. "It has happened in the past
where guys haven't done well here and gone on to do
well at Wimbledon.
"There is no guarantee that I won't do well at Wim-
bledon, but it certainly would have helped to have
had more matches."
Both of Murray's titles at Wimbledon, in 2013 and
'16, came after winning Queen's.
HALLE---Roger Federer bounced back from his
surprise first-round defeat in Stuttgart last week
with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Yuichi Sugita of Japan
in the opening round of the Gerry Weber Open
It was the Swiss great's 1,100th career victory.
Federer, who was upset by German veteran Tom-
my Haas on his return from a two-month break last
Wednesday, hit eight aces and converted five of his 13
break opportunities to beat the 66th-ranked Sugita
in 52 minutes. Sugita, who lost in the qualifiers, was
playing in place of Lu Yen-hsun, who withdrew with
a right arm injury. Federer, an eight-time champion in
Halle, continues his bid for his 16th grass-court title
against Germany's Mischa Zverev, who beat Slovakian
qualifier Lukas Lacko 6-4, 6-4.
The win over Sugita was Federer's first since early
April, when he skipped the clay-court season to recu-
perate from a busy start to the year that included his
18th Grand Slam at the Australian Open. The 35-year-
old Swiss won the Miami Open and went on hiatus.
Kei Nishikori toiled for his opening grass-court
victory of the year, beating Fernando Verdasco 6-7
(7), 6-3, 6-4. The third-seeded Japanese player saved
nine of the 10 break points he faced to win in under 2
1/2 hours for a second-round meeting against Karen
Khachanov of Russia. Khachanov defeated Gilles Si-
mon of France 6-2, 6-7 (2), 6-3.
The fourth-seeded Alexander Zverev, Mischa
Zverev's younger brother, had no problems against
Paolo Lorenzi, winning 6-3, 6-2 in just under an hour.
Haas' final appearance at the tournament was brief
as he lost to Bernard Tomic 6-4, 6-4. The 39-year-
old Haas, who made his Halle debut 20 years ago and
won it twice, plans to retire at the end of the season.
The sixth-seeded Lucas Pouille of France rallied to
beat Germany's Jan-Lennard Struff 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.
The seventh-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut beat
Carlos Berlocq 6-0, 4-6, 6-2, Robin Haase defeated
David Ferrer 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, and Florian Mayer defeated
Benoit Paire 6-0, 6-4. Also, Mikhail Youzhny, who
had beaten Sugita in qualifying, defeated Ivo Karlovic
6-3, 7-6 (6). (AP)
Andy Murray of Britain sits in the
chair between games as he plays
against Jordan Thompson of
Australia during day two of the
Queen's Club tennis tournament
in London, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Murray out on day 1 at Queen's
The second-seeded Wawrinka was beaten by
big-serving Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (5), 7-5, with the
Spanish player sealing victory off a net cord from
a sliced backhand return.
Wawrinka, the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at
the French Open, appeared to be struggling with
a left knee injury in the second set.
While Wawrinka's exit wasn't too much of a
surprise, given Lopez's recent form and liking for
grass, the early departure of third-seeded Raonic
in the first match on Centre Court certainly was.
Last year's runner-up at Queen's and Wimble-
don---both times to Murray---lost 7-6 (5), 7-6 (8)
to No 698-ranked Thanasi Kokkinakis, who was
playing only his sixth singles since November 2015
because of injury problems.
It was the first win over a top-ten opponent for
the Australian, who trailed 6-3 in the second-set
tiebreaker but won on his third match point with
a backhand winner into the corner.
Kokkinakis played only one match in 2016 be-
cause of a shoulder problem, and missed most
of this year because of an abdominal injury. He
returned to action in May and played three events
before Queen's, with his ranking as low as No 993
only last week.
Fourth-seeded Marin Cilic is the top player
left in the field after beating John Isner 7-5, 6-3
Americans Sam Querrey and Stefan Kozlov,
Frenchmen Julien Benneteau and Chardy, and
Serbian player Viktor Troicki all advanced to
the last 16. (AP)
Federer bounces back
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