Cilic, Anderson win in grass returns at Queen’s

Published by AAP / Tennismash

Defending Queen's Club champion Marin Cilic celebrates a straight-sets win over Christian Garin in the first round of the 2019 event (Getty Images)
Wimbledon finalists Marin Cilic and Kevin Anderson kick off their grass-court seasons with first-round wins at Queen’s Club.

Defending champion Marin Cilic has edged his way into the second round at Queen’s Club in London with a a 6-1 7-6 (5) win over Chile’s Cristian Garin.

Joining him in the last 16 at Queen’s was last year’s Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson, back in action after being sidelined for three months since Miami with tennis elbow.

The South African recovered from a set down to beat Britain’s Cameron Norrie 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4.

“That was a very tough match to come back to!” Anderson tweeted later on Monday. “But I’m happy to be back and moving on at @QueensTennis. Also thanks again to everyone for your support and nice messages while I was away. It really means a lot.”

Cilic, the world No.15 and a Wimbledon finalist in 2017, is bidding for his third title at the pre-Wimbledon tune-up event after beating world No.1 Novak Djokovic in the decider last year.

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Playing in his first match since the French Open, Cilic raced into a 5-0 lead after just 15 minutes on Monday, with Garin finally managing to win a game before the 30-year-old wrapped up the set with a stinging serve.

The Croat claimed an early break in the second set and it looked like the match was going to end within an hour.

However, the Chilean world No.32 hit back with both players breaking one other’s serve twice before Garin squandered a 4-0 advantage in the tiebreak allowing Cilic to advance to round two.

Cilic will next meet Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman after the Argentine defeated Kazakh qualifier Alexander Bublik 6-2 6-3.

Russia’s Daniil Medvedev also advanced with a comfortable 6-2 6-4 win over Spain’s Fernando Verdasco, while veteran Frenchman Nicolas Mahut upstaged exciting young American Francis Tiafoe 6-3 7-6(5).

Grand Slam champions Stan Wawrinka and Juan Martin del Potro, plus No.1 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, headline the Centre Court schedule on Tuesday at Queen’s Club.

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