Andy Murray headed a list of high-profile departures in the first round at Queen’s on Tuesday, as he fell to 90th-ranked Jordan Thompson 7-6 (4), 6-2. Meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic were the other big names to depart which meant that the top three seeds of the event all bowed out.
Murray put in a sloppy and error-prone display in the first round at the Wimbledon warm-up event on his way out. On the other hand, Thompson, who lost in the final round of qualifying on Sunday, stepped up to play the world no.1 following the early withdrawal of Aljaz Bedene on Tuesday because of a wrist injury and played the match of his life. However, he was given a helping hand by the erratic Murray, the defending and five-time champion at West London.
Speaking of his win, an ecstatic Thompson said, “Definitely the biggest win of my career. I took each point at a time. I definitely didn’t expect to be winning here in straight sets. I just wanted to enjoy myself. Yesterday, I was sitting around, hoping to be able to get a game, But there weren’t too many matches yesterday. I was always coming in, trying to sign in, and here I am in the draw. I’m so lucky."
On the other hand, the loss is a serious blow to Murray’s preparations for Wimbledon which starts on July 3.
In another match, the second-seeded Stan Wawrinka was beaten by the big-serving Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (5), 7-5. The World No.3 Wawrinka headed into the tournament on the back of being the runner-up at Roland Garros to Rafael Nadal but appeared to be struggling with a left knee injury in the second set.
The third and final upset of the day was the departure of world no.6 Milos Raonic, who lost 7-6 (5), 7-6 (8) to the world no. 698 Thanasi Kokkinakis, who was playing only his sixth singles match since November 2015 because of injury problems. It was the first win over a top-10 opponent for the Australian, who trailed 6-3 in the second-set tiebreaker but won on his third match point with a backhand winner into the corner.
Raonic was far from his best on the day as he failed to convert any of his nine break-point opportunities. Reflecting on his defeat, the Canadian said, “It’s a big frustration. Obviously, it would have been a lot easier scheduling everything if I was to be here and have many more matches ahead of me.”
On the other hand, Kokkinakis played only one match in 2016 because of a shoulder problem and missed most of this year because of an abdominal injury. He returned to action in May and played three events before Queen’s, with his ranking as low as No. 993 only last week.
Speaking of his win, the Australian said, “It’s everything. It’s huge for me. I’ve been out for so long.”