Wawrinka now the latest star to fall at Queen’s Club

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY STEVEN GRIF­FITHS

Stan Wawrinka be­came the latest star to suf­fer a shock exit from Queen’s Club as the French Open cham­pion was beaten 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (13/11) by South Africa’s Kevin An­der­son on Wed­nes­day.

Just 24 hours af­ter Rafael Nadal’s first round de­feat against un­her­alded Ukrainian Alexandr Dol­go­polov, it was Wawrinka’s turn to suc­cumb to an un­ex­pected loss at the Wim­ble­don warm-up event.

The Swiss sec­ond seed had swept through his first round clash against Aus­tralian Nick Kyr­gios in just 49 min­utes as he looked to fol­low his mem­o­rable fi­nal tri­umph over Novak Djokovic in Paris with his first ever grass court ti­tle.

But, in the sec­ond round, Wawrinka couldn’t find a way to sub­due the big-serv­ing An­der­son, who fired down 22 aces en route to his first win over a top five ranked op­po­nent this year.

Wawrinka had been hop­ing to ex­tend his win­ning run to nine matches, but the tow­er­ing 203-cen­time­ter An­der­son had won their last three meet­ings, all in 2014, and he proved a thorn in the 30-year-old’s side again.

A hard-fought first set looked to have swung Wawrinka’s way when he se­cured two set points at 6-5, only for the Swiss to let An­der­son off the hook as the 29-year-old raced through the sub­se­quent tie-break.

The su­per­sti­tious Wawrinka was still wear­ing his ‘lucky’ pair of gar­ish red, white and gray checked shorts that caused a stir dur­ing his tri­umphant run in Paris, but his for­tune took a turn for the worse in the sec­ond set.

A dra­matic sec­ond set tie-break saw Wawrinka save five match points and An­der­son res­cue two set points be­fore the South African fi­nally sealed his win.

In the quar­ter­fi­nals, An­der­son will play Spain’s Guillermo Gar­cia-Lopez, who suc­ceeded where Nadal failed with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) over world No. 79 Dol­go­polov.

Brushed Aside

French sev­enth seed Gilles Si­mon ended Thanasi Kokki­nakis’s Queen’s Club de­but with a 6-4, 6-2 sec­ond round vic­tory over the Aus­tralian teenager.

Kokki­nakis has spent much of this week in the air af­ter mak­ing the long flight back to Aus­tralia to spend a day at home with his sick grand­mother be­fore an un­sched­uled re­turn to Queen’s.

The highly rated world No. 70 had jet­ted back to Ade­laide to be with his fam­ily af­ter the French Open, only to dis­cover on land­ing that he had been of­fered a wild­card en­try into the Wim­ble­don warm-up event.

Kokki­nakis got back on a plane, shrugged off the in­evitable jet­lag and cap­tured his first tour-level win on grass against France’s Jeremy Chardy be­fore his ex­er­tions caught up with him in a tired dis­play against Si­mon 24 hours later.

Next up for world No. 13 Si­mon in the quar­ter-fi­nals will be Cana­dian third seed Mi­los Raonic, who de­feated France’s Richard Gas­quet 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-1.

Raonic is play­ing his first tour­na­ment for five weeks fol­low­ing foot surgery that forced the world No. eight to miss the French Open.

The 24-year-old, who reached the Wim­ble­don semi­fi­nals last year, looked a lit­tle rusty on his re­turn in a first round three-set win over Bri­tish wild­card James Ward.

Once again Raonic was pushed hard against Gas­quet, who se­cured his 400th ca­reer vic­tory in the pre­vi­ous round, but he even­tu­ally hit peak form to de­mol­ish the world No. 19 in the fi­nal set.

AP

Switzer­land’s Stan Wawrinka re­turns a shot to South Africa’s Kevin An­der­son, dur­ing their men’s sin­gles ten­nis match of the Queen’s ten­nis cham­pi­onship, in Lon­don, Wed­nes­day, June 17.

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