Tennis

/ News

  • Queen's

Hewitt fails to match Federer as he exits Queen's

Nick Atkin at Queen's Club
June 11, 2014 « Farah to double up in Glasgow | WILL TEST Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Lleyton Hewitt went down to Feliciano Lopez in straight sets © Getty Images
Enlarge

Lleyton Hewitt missed the chance to match Roger Federer's record number of wins on grass as he suffered a second-round exit to Feliciano Lopez at Queen's.

Lopez, the 10th seed, went through 6-3 6-4 in 67 minutes on Centre Court, with Hewitt (121) still trailing Federer's tally of wins (122) on the surface among active players. Federer opens his singles campaign at Halle on Thursday.

Hewitt had been bidding to become the first man to win Queen's five times. He shares the record of four wins with Andy Roddick.

"He served really well the whole match," said Hewitt. "It was just frustrating.

Dream homecoming for Murray

Andy Murray saw off Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4 6-4 © Getty Images
  • Back playing a competitive match on British soil for the first time since winning Wimbledon, Andy Murray enjoyed a dream homecoming as he dispatched Paul-Henri Mathieu to open the defence of his Queen's title.
  • Click here to continue reading

"I feel like for the most part my rhythm is pretty good. I didn't feel like I did a lot wrong out there with the returns today. He just served too well."

Hewitt was uncertain over whether he would come back for a record 16th year at Queen's, however, but is looking forward to stepping up his preparations for Wimbledon.

"It's one of my favourite tournaments," he added. "I love coming back here, it's always nice. I had a really good run last year [to reach the semi-finals], as well. You always have good memories to come back to places where you played well.

"I still feel comfortable on this surface. I'll play some practice sets over the next week and a half and just get more and more comfortable with the grass. Then over five sets, anything can happen."

Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka progressed to the third round after Marcos Baghdatis, who has been granted a Wimbledon wild card, retired with a suspected shoulder problem in the first set of their match when he was trailing 3-2.

Asked if he was disappointed he only got five games in, Wawrinka said: "I'm sorry for him [Baghdatis] first. He's a good friend, a great friend. He's been playing well since he started the grass, winning the first tournament [in Nottingham].

"It's never easy. For sure you want to play matches. But sometimes it happens. You take it and you go for the next one.

"I'm feeling really good. I'm really happy with my level of the game, the way I am practicing, to play a few games on Centre. It was enough to see it [the ball] as it was a little bit faster because the grass is still new.

"I have more than two weeks to get ready for Wimbledon. I know that if my level is there, I can do some great results in Wimbledon, but we'll see. So far I'm taking it day after day and trying to enjoy here the week."

There was also a shock defeat for Ernests Gulbis, with the French Open semi-finalist going down 7-6(3) 7-5 to Kenny de Schepper.

Radek Stepanek will face Andy Murray in the third round © Getty Images
Enlarge

It was sixth seed Gulbis' first match of the tournament, having received a bye in the first round.

"It was very different [to clay]," said Gulbis. "Honestly I didn't feel I played that bad. I had ball pretty well on the racquet.

"Moving was bad but he served incredible. I had six break points the first set. You have to give the guy credit. He serves really, really well in important points. What can I do?

"I like the grass. But always for me, I never play well the first tournament. I always play decent in Wimbledon if I practice well. So now I'm going to stay here, practice two weeks on grass. I'm going to be fully fine for Wimbledon."

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga moved safely through with a 7-6(5) 6-2 win over Belgium's David Goffin while Alexandr Dolgopolov edged Denis Istomin 7-6(3) 7-6(7).

Elsewhere, Radek Stepanek edged Bernard Tomic 7-6(4) 7-6(5) to set up a third-round meeting with defending champion Andy Murray, who overcame Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-4 6-4.

Marinko Matosevic also downed Lukas Lacko 7-6(3) 6-3 with Jarkko Nieminen seeing off Dmitry Tursunov 7-6(3) 7-6(3).

Nick Atkin is an assistant editor at ESPN. You can follow him on Twitter @NickAtkinESPN

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Feeds Feeds: ESPN staff

ESPN staff Close