Queen’s | Djokovic eases through
The second seed Grigor Dimitrov survived a tough Fever Tree Championships first-round workout against Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur to set up a second-round clash with former world number one Novak Djokovic.
The 27-year-old Bulgarian was edged out in a second-set tiebreak but eventually prevailed 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3, sealing victory with an ace.
Djokovic, playing Queen’s for the first time since 2010 on the back of a wildcard, outclassed Australian John Millman 6-2 6-1.
I’ve struggled a bit in the last year and a half and that has taken a bit of confidence out of me but I’m trying to get that back and today was perfect. Novak Djokovic
The Serb has fallen to 22 in the world rankings after 12 months disrupted by an elbow injury, but the three-times Wimbledon champion looked sharp against qualifier Millman.
“It’s one of the most beautiful courts to play on and it’s good to be back on the grass,” Djokovic said on court.
“I’ve struggled a bit in the last year and a half and that has taken a bit of confidence out of me but I’m trying to get that back and today was perfect.”
Dimitrov, champion in 2014, made a reasonably assured start and said he was relieved to avoid having his Wimbledon preparations cut short in what was a tricky opener.
“I was a bit rusty obviously and need to brush up on a few things and come back and get a bit better,” Dimitrov said.
“I just want to play as many matches as possible on grass. It’s a tough field here and you have to be on the edge every single round.”
Third seed Kevin Anderson fell at the first hurdle, losing to Argentine Leonardo Mayer in three sets while eight seed Tomas Berdych also went out to Julien Benneteau.
Milos Raonic reached the second round after Indian opponent Yuki Bhambri retired injured in a match where the Canadian also suffered an injury in the final game. Raonic then pulled out of the tournament after being told the extent of the muscle strain. Also out are David Goffin, the fourth seed who lost to the defending champion Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-7(7) 6-3 and Kevin Anderson, the third seed, who was downed by Leonardo Mayer 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(3)