LONDON: Andy Murray admits he will have to improve dramatically to mount a successful defence of his Wimbledon title after the world No 1 suffered an embarrassing Queen’s Club exit.
It was the worst possible preparation for Wimbledon, with the grass-court Grand Slam set to get under way on July 3.
Murray has now failed to get past the second round in three of his last four tournaments. and has lost before the quarterfinals six times this year.
It is a remarkable crisis for a player who just eight months ago was sitting on top of the world after a golden year that including titles at Wimbledon, the Olympics and the ATP Tour Finals.
TSONGA SLUMPS TOO
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also crashed out of Queen’s Club as the world No. 10 was beaten 6-4, 6-4 by Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller on Wednesday.
After Murray, three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka and former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic all endured shock first-round defeats on Tuesday, it was Tsonga’s turn to suffer a surprise second-round exit.
MILESTONE FOR ROGER
HALLE: Eighteen-time Major champion Roger Federer picked up his first win of the grass-court season by thrashing Japan’s Yuichi Sugita in the first round at Halle on Tuesday.
The Swiss top seed, who skipped the entire clay-court schedule in order to be fully fit for Wimbledon, brushed aside lucky loser Sugita 6-3, 6-1 in just 51 minutes, to bring up his 1100th win on the ATP Tour.
MOM AZARENKA WINS
MADRID:Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka overcame Japan’s Risa Ozaki in Mallorca on her comeback from a year out following the birth of her son.
Azarenka rallied from 0-40 down as Ozaki served for the match to win 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (9/7) in her first appearance since the 2016 French Open. The 27-yearold will meet Croatian teenager Ana Konjuh in the last 16 .
BOPANNA IN QUARTERS
LONDON: Rohan Bopanna and Croatian partner Ivan Dodig bounced back from a set down to progress through to the quarterfinals of the Aegon Championships. The Indo-Croatian pair registered a 6-3, 6-7, 10-7 win over the Australian-American team of Thanasi Kokkinakis and Kyle Edmund at the Queen’s Club.
Bopanna and Dodig will now play Finnish-Australian duo Henri Kontinen and John Peers.
Leander Paes and Canada’s Adil Shamasdin survived an early scare against Australian duo of John-Patrick Smith and Matt Reid to book their place in last-eight.
They will next face Belarus’ Andrei Vasilevski and Chile’s Hans Podlipnik-Castillo.