Murray crashes out, Federer notches win

21-06-2017
DH

Murray was hoping to warm up for his Wimbledon title defence by winning the Queen’s title for a sixth time, but instead he succumbed to an astonishing 7-6 (7/4), 6-2 defeat against the world number 90.

The 30-year-old’s loss was all the more remarkable because Thompson was only called up to face Murray at the last minute.

Murray was scheduled to face Aljaz Bedene, but he withdrew with a wrist injury just hours before Tuesday’s match, leaving Thompson, who was at the west London venue as an alternate after losing in the qualifying rounds, to scramble to get ready for his unexpected date with destiny.

With the Queen’s champion well below his best, 23-year-old Thompson seized his opportunity in memorable fashion and handed Murray his earliest exit from the tournament since 2012. The shock loss ended Murray’s 14-match winning streak on grass and his 10-match unbeaten run at Queen’s.

Earlier, Milos Raonic’s Wimbledon preparations suffered a major setback as the world number six crashed to a shock 7-6 (5), 7-6 (8) loss against Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis. World number three Stan Wawrinka was also beaten 7-6 (4) 7-5 by Spain’s Feliciano Lopez in the Swiss star’s first match since being thrashed by Rafael Nadal in the French Open final.

Back on court for the first time since his straight-sets defeat against Nadal in Paris, second seed Wawrinka was hoping to erase that painful memory with a rare good run here. Lopez is only ranked 32nd but the canny left-hander reached the Queen’s final three years ago and he out-smarted Wawrinka with a grass-court masterclass that left the three-time Grand Slam champion unable to respond.

In Halle, Germany, Roger Federer picked up his first win of the grass-court season by thrashing Japan’s Yuichi Sugita in the first round. The Swiss brushed aside lucky loser Sugita 6-3, 6-1 in just 51 minutes.

Kvitova shines bright

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova made a winning return to grass with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over her fellow Czech Tereza Smitkova to move into the second round of the WTA tournament in Birmingham. Importantly it continued to raise hopes that, after the injuries inflicted upon her left hand by an intruder in her home with a knife, she might yet regain many of her impressive attacking qualities.

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