Čilić and Anderson through at Queen’s
The grass season is now truly underway, with some of the more traditional Wimbledon warm-ups in full flow. The Queen’s Club Championships, which is held in a leafy part of the London suburbs, is considered one of the more prestigious non-Grand Slam tournaments.
Marin Čilić won here last year and is determined to do his best to retain his crown. The fifth seed breezed past Cristian Garín 6-1, 7-6 (5), finding it slightly tougher in the second set as Garín found some flow and tried to make life more difficult for his opponent.
The match took a total of one hour and 17 minutes to complete, but the first set was blitzed through in just 20 minutes, which illustrates how easy the Croatian found the proceedings early on. It got a little harder from there, but this is just Čilić’s 20th match of the season due to a knee injury.
Second seed Kevin Anderson did not find things quite so easy, and had to dig deep against British number two Cameron Norrie to come from behind and win 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4. The South African is still in the top ten but has not had quite the same stellar year as 2018, and has not been seen among the top contenders for many trophies this season.
Anderson and Čilić will be joined by Daniil Medvedev, who wasted little time in making progress against Fernando Verdasco with a 6-2, 6-4 win. The fourth seed has not been in the greatest form himself this year, but he seemed sharp here on grass. He lost his last five matches in all competitions before this, so there will be a lot of sports betting value behind him winning any game right now.
Medvedev may have recorded his 26th win of the season, but he has not won a game anywhere since way back in April at the Barcelona Open. His first-round exits in every tournament since mean that he has been disregarded in many quarters, but that was not much help for Verdasco, who could not keep up and was broken almost instantly. Medvedev fended off three break points that came his way in set one, but managed to convert three of his own to take an early advantage.
The Spanish veteran found more opportunities in the second set, but will rue a double fault at 2-2, which handed the initiative to the Russian, who did not look back.
Words: Josh Dixon