Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Gregor Dimitrov and Kyle Edmund all starred on opening day.
The grass court season is finally upon us, meaning the return of Queen’s– one of the most prestigious tour events which also serves as perfect preparation for Wimbledon. It’s been a tough day for all the players, with such blistering hot temperatures in West London. Here is how each match on Centre Court unfolded on the opening day.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga bt. Adrian Mannarino (6-2, 6-2)
Fifth seed and world number 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga opened proceedings with a straight sets win over fellow Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.
The crucial game of the match came during the opening set, when a 12-minute grudge match finally ended with Tsonga claiming an all-important break to go 4-2 up.
Mannarino struggled after that, and needed a medical time-out at one point after feeling a pain in his back.
Tsonga stepped up a gear to make easy work of the second set. The 2008 Australian Open finalist served well, and used his ferocious forehand to his advantage as he aims to make it to a first Queen’s final since 2011.
Gregor Dimitrov bt. Ryan Harrison (6-3, 6-1)
Bulgarian Gregor Dimitrov was comfortable from start to end as he beat American Ryan Harrison in straight sets.
The world number 11 took just 54 minutes to win the match, and dropped just four games along the way.
Harrison was hampered by too many unforced errors, which lead to him throwing balls into the crowd and slamming his racket in frustration. He was ultimately cautioned by the match umpire.
Dimitrov was different class however. The number six seed held his serve well, and played some magnificent shots from the baseline. The 2014 Queen’s champion showed flashes of just what he can do on a grass court and will go into the second round full of confidence.
Donald Young bt. Nick Kyrgios (7-6, Ret)
Nick Kyrgios’ retired from his first round match with American Donald Young with injury.
The Australian and number nine seed had yet to win a match at Queen’s prior to the tournament, and had his right leg heavily strapped up at the beginning of the match.
With the match closely fought, a slip during the ninth game of the first set ultimately cost Kyrgios, as he seemed to pull his left groin after his awkward tumble.
The world number 20 was sluggish around the court following the slip due to the injury he suffered, and struggled to compete in the tiebreak, which Young won 7-3.
The American used his powerful forehand to push Kyrgios around the court, and could be one to watch in this tournament. He very much held his own against the ninth seed, but the question following this match will be whether the Australian will return in time for Wimbledon, which starts in just two weeks time.
Denis Shapovalov bt. Kyle Edmund (7-6, 4-6, 6-4)
Two of tennis’ promising prodigies came face to face in the final match of the day, with 18-year old Denis Shapovalov shocking Queen’s by beating Britain’s Kyle Edmund.
Edmund, who has grown into a fine young player, was looking to make a mark on home soil. He made it through to the quarter-finals in this tournament last year, and wanted to try and at least make it to the same stage this time around.
However, the world number 44 struggled against the impressive Shapovalov. The Canadian, who won the junior Wimbledon last year, served well and played aggressively. He was rewarded with a first set win, beating Edmund 7-4 in the tiebreak.
Edmund recovered well, and got that all important break early on before wrapping up the second set 6-4.
The final set had a similar tone to the first, with both players struggling to break away from their opponent. The Canadian eventually found that elusive break in the final game, and will celebrate the biggest win of his very short career to date.
Shapovalov for certain has a bright future ahead of him, and will be a name to watch out for in the coming years. For Edmund, it’s about regrouping and rebuilding ahead of Wimbledon.