Juan Martin del Potro made a winning start to his grass court season, but it has come at a cost.
The Argentine defeated Canadian Denis Shapovalov 7-5 6-4 in the opening round at Queen’s Club – but has since withdrawn from the tournament with a right knee injury sustained in a late-match slip.
— Matthew Willis (@MattRacquet) June 19, 2019
Del Potro was still in the early stages of a comeback from a fractured knee-cap; the tournament in Queen’s marked just his fifth event of 2019.
Yet he showed few signs of rust on the lawns of London, firing 11 aces, landing 72 per cent of first serves and not facing a single break point throughout. He committed just 11 errors in the 76-minute victory.
Shapovalov, meanwhile, has now lost eight of his past 10 matches since reaching the semifinals of the Miami Open in March, and is on a four-match losing streak.
Del Potro’s scheduled second-round opponent – Spanish wildcard Feliciano Lopez, who got past Marton Fucsovics in three sets in the opening round – advances to the quarterfinals.
Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka moved into the second round with a 6-3 6-4 victory over British wildcard Dan Evans, while sixth seed Milos Raonic fired 24 aces in a 6-3 6-3 win over Italian Marco Cecchinato.
A jam-packed schedule for Thursday includes the return of former world No.1 Andy Murray, who is playing doubles alongside Lopez.
In Halle, defending champion Borna Coric survived a second-round challenge against Portuguese qualifier Joao Sousa. The No.4 seed won 7-6(4) 5-7 7-6(4) in the two hour, 55 minute battle.
Third seed Karen Khachanov also moved into the quarterfinals, defeating German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 3-6 6-4.
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