London | Alcaraz squeezes through but Murray tumbles out

The first appearance of world No.2 Carlos Alcaraz at Queen’s, as well as the return of five-time champion Andy Murray, kept the packed centre court at the club staging the Cinch Championships, enthralled for nearly four hours.

For me it is tough playing here but of course I enjoyed playing on the grass and playing at Queen’s. It is a tournament that I really wanted to play. It was a good performance from me on my first match on grass Carlos Alcaraz

Playing his first match on grass since losing in the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, Alcaraz battled from a break down in the third set to finally dispatch Arthur Rinderknech 4-6 7-5 7-6(3) with some enthralling tennis.

It took the 20-year-old Spaniard some time to not only acclimatise himself to the surface, the conditions and some powerful serving from his French opponent, a Lucky Loser aged 27, eventually sealing his win after two-hours and 34-minutes.

“It was really difficult for me at the beginning to adapt my tennis, my game to the grass,” Alcaraz admitted. “For me it is tough playing here but of course I enjoyed playing on the grass and playing at Queen’s. It is a tournament that I really wanted to play. It was a good performance from me on my first match on grass.

“I have never played a tournament except Wimbledon on grass and I wanted to play here. I have watched this tournament on TV and I always thought it looked like a beautiful place to play and be. I am enjoying every single second. The crowd was amazing and the court was unbelievable.”


Andy Murray congratulates Alex De Minaur after losing to him in the first round at Queen's

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Andy Murray followed only for Australia’s Alex de Minaur, the seventh seed, to stamp his own game on the former champion and dismiss him after 85-minutes, 6-3 6-1 and extend his run of wins over the Brit to 4 without any loss.

It ends Murray’s run of 10 consecutive wins on grass and more than likely, any hope he may still have for a seed spot in Wimbledon’ draw.

“I don’t want to overanalyse,” the 36-year-old Scot said.

“It’s easy to overreact. I lost to a good player.

“It’s obviously not the same level of opponents, but I won Nottingham last week without dropping a set. I only lost one set in Surbiton.

“I was holding serve very comfortably, moving well, hitting the ball good. There are a lot of positive signs there.”

Murray’s game looked to be in good shape in the opening set but after ‘The Demon’ made his breakthrough in the fifth game, the match seemed to slip away from him and though he saved three match points, he couldn’t do much with the fourth.

Second-seeded Holger Rune overcame the American serve and volley exponent Maxime Cressy of the US 7-6(4) 7-6(3) who had an early break in the match leading 3-1 but failed to hang on to it.

The 20-year-old Dane lost just eight points on second serve while Cressy tossed in 13 double faults.

Third-seeded Taylor Fritz ousted Bernabe Zapata Miralles of Spain 6-4 7-5. Fritz lost just two points on first serve and never faced a break point.

In other action, Stuttgart winner Frances Tiafoe of the US beat Denmark’s Botic Van De Zandschulp 6-2 6-4 while qualifier Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria defeated Finland’s Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2 6-4 and the Czech Jiri Lehecka progressed past Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6(7-4) 6-3.

Finally Adrian Mannarino oof France recovered from a poor first set performance to defeat Britain’s Liam Broady 1-6 6-4 6-3 and Jordan Thompson of Australia advanced past countryman Alexei Popyrin 6-4 6-4.


Andy Murray may well have lost his chance of a seeded spot at Wimbledon

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