Cilic Cruises Through Queen's Opener
The 2012 champion lost just four service points — including just one on first serve (28/29) — in the 67-minute encounter, his fourth straight win over Verdasco (leads 9-5 in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series). The 29-year-old Cilic, who beat David Nalbandian in the 2012 final, also finished as runner-up in 2013 (l. to Murray) and 2017 (l. to Lopez).
"I felt I prepared really well for the match, considering on the other side of the net was Fernando, a great quality player," Cilic said. "I lost to him few times already, and that just pushed me to be ready from the first point. I got into the match really well. I served well straightaway from the beginning... Really pleased with today, and I knew obviously if Fernando is hot, he can play great tennis, so I'm pleased to win it in straight sets."
The World No. 46 saved one set point at 6/7 in the first set tie-break and needed three match points in a tense second-set decider to secure victory after one hour and 41 minutes.
Muller hit 13 aces in the first-round clash and dropped just two points behind his serve (45/47) en route to victory. The 2017 semi-finalist trails his FedExATP Head2Head series against Cilic 0-3, which includes losses last season at the Fever-Tree Championships and Wimbledon.
Medvedev snapped a five-match losing streak at the Libema Open last week before falling to Spain's Fernando Verdasco in the Round of 16. The Russian will face Tim Smyczek or Jeremy Chardy in the second round.
#NextGenATP American Frances Tiafoe also advanced, beating countryman Jared Donaldson 6-4, 7-6(4). The Delray Beach Open champion converted both his break point opportunities and won 76 per cent of first-serve points to progress after 86 minutes.
Did You Know?
Gilles Muller is bidding to reach the quarter-finals or better at the Fever-Tree Championships for the fourth consecutive year. The World No. 46 reached back-to-back quarter-finals in 2015 and 2016, before a semi-final run last year (l. to Cilic).