Wawrinka Beats Evans On Another Wet Day At Queen's Club
2014 semi-finalist will next face Mahut
The seventh-seeded Swiss, who has employed the services of Daniel Vallverdu in support of his main coach Magnus Norman for the grass-court swing, was assured from the baseline in his 6-3, 6-4 first-round victory over British wild card Evans in 72 minutes. The match, contested on Centre Court at The Queen’s Club, was suspended due to a prolonged rain shower for three-and-a-quarter hours.
“I expected a tough match. He’s won more matches in the past two weeks than I have in my whole career on grass,” joked Wawrinka. “It’s been a tough two days with the rain, but I was happy to be back on this court with an amazing atmosphere. I’m really happy to have won today.”
Wawrinka, who reached the 2014 semi-finals, won the first three games of the match and led 5-3 when rain first began to fall at 2:34 p.m. local time. Upon the resumption of play at 5:49 p.m., the 34-year-old won four of the next five games, keeping Evans behind the baseline in defence.
Wawrinka, who had previously edged through two tight encounters against Evans at the 2016 US Open and in March at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, finished with a backhand winner and will next face French qualifier Nicolas Mahut, the 2007 runner-up, on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Evans came into the event on the back of consecutive ATP Challenger Tour grass-court titles in Surbiton and Nottingham. During that stretch he improved from No. 80 to No. 63 in the ATP Rankings.
Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and Brit Kyle Edmund will resume their first-round match on Thursday after late showers halted play for the night. The #NextGenATP Greek leads 6-3, 3-3. The 20-year-old seeks his first grass-court trophy, which would give him an ATP Tour title on every surface.
The winner will face Frenchman Jeremy Chardy, who saved all three break points he faced in a convincing 6-1, 6-3 win over Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan. Tsitsipas and Chardy are even in their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry at 1-1, with both matches taking place last year. Edmund leads his FedEx ATP Head2Head series with Chardy 2-1, including a five-set win last month at Roland Garros.
Rain prevented two singles matches from making it to court on Wednesday. No play was possible on Tuesday, when the ATP 500 grass-court tournament had a full day’s play washed out for the first time since 11 June 2012.