Wawrinka eases to opening win at Queen’s

Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka celebrates winning his match against Britain’s Cameron Norrie.(Reuters pic)

LONDON: Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka made light work of Britain’s Cameron Norrie in the opening round of the Queen’s Club grasscourt tournament on Monday, winning 6-2 6-3.

The 33-year-old Swiss, ranked 261 in the world after two knee surgeries, served solidly throughout a one-sided contest on the slick centre court, easing past an opponent who struggled to cope with Wawrinka’s power.

Wawrinka needed just shy of half an hour to pocket the opener, breaking twice, and was hardly troubled in the second set as he set up a second round against American fifth seed Sam Querrey or young British wildcard Jay Clarke.

“In general (the knee) has been improving week after week,” Wawrinka, beaten in the first round of the French Open, said on court. “Now I feel really good on court, strong physically.

“I will have ups and downs in the next months and need to be patient. You need to be ready to accept frustrating but today was a great day.”

Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller, the man who ended Rafael Nadal’s run at Wimbledon last year after reaching the Queen’s semi-final, had earlier knocked out exciting Canadian shot-maker Denis Shapovalov in two tiebreaks.

Top seed Marin Cilic of Croatia was in action later against Spain’s Fernando Verdasco.

Double Wimbledon champion Andy Murray makes his return after nearly a year out with a hip injury on Tuesday when he will face Australian Nick Kyrgios in the first round.