Wawrinka, Murray make winning Queen's grass-court starts

Swiss Stan Wawrinka spends a mere 17 minutes on the court Wednesday as opponent Marcos Baghdatis retires with a shoulder injury, sending the Swiss into the third round of the Queen's club tournament with a 3-2 .

11 June 2014, 8:43pm
Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka returns during a practice session at Queen's Club ahead of his third round match. Wawrinka won against Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in 17 minutes as his opponent retired with a shoulder injury. Photo by EPA/ANDY RAIN
Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka returns during a practice session at Queen's Club ahead of his third round match. Wawrinka won against Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis in 17 minutes as his opponent retired with a shoulder injury. Photo by EPA/ANDY RAIN
Bill Scott, dpa

The victory was the first at the event for the Autralian Open winner, who was beaten in his only other outing in west London in 2011. Wawrinka next plays American Sam Querrey.

"It's never easy to win like that," said Wawrinka after beating an oppponent whose first round victory was his first at the ATP level since March.

"For sure you want to play matches. But sometimes this happnes. You take it and you go for the next one. I'm not thinking about winning Wimbledon or winning my next tournament. It's a long way to go.

"You have to be ready every day, and that's what I'm doing. I'm trying to give everything every day."

Third seed Andy Murray played to impress as the reigning Wimbledon champion won his first match under new coach Amelie Mauresmo.

Murray defeated Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4, 6-4 in his opening contest after a bye to move into a clash with Czech 15th seed Radek Stepanek, who beat Australian Bernard Tomic for the third time, 7-6 (7-4), 7-6 (7-5).

Murray, the third-seeded holder, on Sunday appointed the 2006 double Grand Slam winner Mauresmo as his coach for a grass season trial. He is the first major ATP player to be coached by a woman.

Mauresmo watched expression-less but was surely satisfied courtside next to a member of Murray's team, which she now heads.

Murray won in just under 90 minutes with 10 aces in a match where Mathieu saved a match point in the penultimate game.

Stepanek knows he will be up against a home crowd when he faces the Scot.  

"Playing him here at Queen's Club, which has incredible history, will definitely be a great challenge for me. I will get ready as I did for the previous matches" said the 35-year-old Stepanek.

"I know it's a tough task, I'll come out and perform as best I can. It definitely helps a lot when you start with two wins in the grass season. I want to play as many matches as I can before Wimbledon definitely. I'm feeling good on grass."

Since his loss to Roger Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final, Murray has won 18 consecutive matches on grass, winning a gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012 before clinching the titles at Queen's and Wimbledon in 2013.

Murray became the seventh man since 1979 to complete that double and he now stands 20-4 at Queen's.

Frenchman Kenny De Schepper upset French Open semi-finalist Ernests Gulbis as he put out the Latvian sixth seed 7-6 (7-3), 7-5 while Spanish 10th seed Feliciano Lopez eliminated four-time champion Lleyton Hewitt 6-3, 6-4.

Finn Jarkko Nieminen won back-to-back grass matches for the first time since 2007 in a knockout of Russian 12th seed Dmitry Tursunov 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-3).

Nieminen will play eighth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, a winner over Denis Istomin 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (9-7).