After the first round scare against Germany’s Philippe Kohlschreiber, Roger Federer moved into the quarterfinals of the Gerry Weber Open at Halle with a straight sets victory over Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. In London, however, Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka were trounced out of the prestigious Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club, while world no.3 Andy Murray went through to the second round. It was a sad exit for the former no.1 after his Mercedes’ Cup glory last week at Stuttgart as he lost to Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov. Another early casualty at Queen’s Club was the defeat of the newly crowned French Open Champion Stan Wawrinka, who lost to the big-serving Kevin Anderson of South Africa in the second round. However, top-seeded Andy Murray advanced to second round with a victory over Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu. It was Murray’s first match on grass after his heart-breaking semi-final defeat against Novak Djokovic in the French Open earlier this month.
Roger Federer inched one step closer to his record eighth title at the Gary Weber Open at Halle. After a hard-fought first-round match on Monday, the Swiss had a relatively easier passage into the quarterfinals with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Ernests Gulbis of Latvia. Federer played a great grass court game despite facing two break-points early on. He broke Gulbis in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead, which was enough for the Swiss to take the first set 6-3. In the second set, however, Federer served two successive double faults and lent himself in some trouble. But at 4-4, it was Gulbis, who double-faulted and Federer went ahead 6-5. All he needed to do afterwards was to hold his serve and he didn’t err. Federer’s quarterfinal opponent will be Germany’s Florian Mayer, who defeated USA’s Steve Johnson 6-3, 7-6. In other matches at Halle, no.3 seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic Third-seeded defeated Croatian teenage Borna Coric 6-3, 6-2 and Eighth-seeded Ivo Karlovic of Croatia served 21 aces to beat German wild card Alexander Zverev 6-7, 6-3, 6-3.
Rafael Nadal suffered a shock first-round defeat against Ukraine’s Alexandr Dolgopolov at the Aegon Championships at London’s famed Queen’s Club. After his victory at Stuttgart last week, Nadal talked about targeting Wimbledon and said that he had now recovered from a series of knee problems. But in his first appearance at Queen’s Club in four years, Nadal went down 6-3, 6-7, 6-4 after holding a 4-2 lead in the thrilling third set. Nadal has not reached the QF of the Wimbledon since 2011, when he had finished runner-up. The Spaniard’s last Grand Slam triumph came in 2014 but he couldn’t defend that this year as he lost to world no.1 Novak Djokovic. Nadal’s conqueror Dolgopolov has already lost the second round 3-6, 6-7 to another Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
The other major second round casualty at Queen’s Club was French Open champion Stan Wawrinka, who lost to South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-7, 6-7 in a closely fought match. Wawrinka, who won the French Open two weeks ago, found his Wimbledon preparations ruined by Anderson in a match that could have gone either way. Wawrinka saved five match points in the second-set tiebreaker and missed at crunch time in trying to force a decider.
Top seed Andy Murray had a great beginning on grass, in preparations for Wimbledon 2015. He faced Taiwan’s Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round and scored a straightforward 6-4, 7-5 victory in the Aegon Championships. The Taiwanese gave Murray some trouble as he broke the Scot in the fifth game of the first set. But Murray broke right back and riding on the error from Lu, he took the first set 6-4. In the second set, Murray allowed a 40-0 lead go astray as Lu went up 2-0. The no.1 seed composed himself to level 2-2 and afterwards, Murray’s class was too much for Lu to handle as he went through to the second round. The three-time Queen’s Club champion will take on Spain’s Fernando Verdasco in his next match.
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