Dimitrov and Raonic Highlight Day 1 Action at Queen's Club
Grigor Dimitrov advances to the second round at The Queen's Club in London, UK. June 17, 2024. Photo credit: cinch Championships.

Day one of the cinch Championships, staged at The Queen’s Club in London, featured dazzling performances throughout five first-round matches, in which one of two seeded players in action said farewell to the classic grass-court ATP 500 on Monday.

Former champion Grigor Dimitrov opened proceedings on Center Court against Frenchman Adrian Mannarino.

The Bulgarian came out strong at the grass-court event held in London, displaying his trademark backhand with exquisite finesse and exceptional run of form to emerge victorious over the world No. 21 with a 6-1, 6-2 win after 63 minutes.

Courtside, the Top 10 player, outlined: “I was very happy with the way I started the match. I set the bar high and wanted to be steady the whole time. Serve and return I just tried to focus on; they are the fundamentals of this surface.”

As the match went on, I felt more solid and secure, so I am very happy,” he added.

The third seed raced through the second round at The Queen’s Club, dominating from the onset on a surface he mastered in 2014 when he earned his first and only tour-level title playing on grass of nine overall.

Dimitrov fired 28 winners to just five unforced errors, converting four of nine breakpoint opportunities and winning 86 percent of the points on his first serve.

Furthermore, he did not face a single break point all match.

On Wednesday, he will face off against either American Sebastian Korda or world No. 22 Karen Khachanov.

Meanwhile, Canadian Milos Raonic made history with his booming serve for most aces hit in a best-of-three-set Tour match since 1991.

The former Wimbledon finalist spoke about the feat, asserting: “With the scoreline and having to save match points, I probably needed every single one. But my serve has always been the most important shot to me. This small record is something special, something meaningful.”

I am glad that behind that also stands a win because maybe I’d feel differently or maybe a bit more sour if I were to get that many free points and lose the match. So overall, a very positive thing and a fun stat to be proud of.

He hit a record-breaking 47 aces on his way to sealing a staggering 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-6(9) triumph over home hero Cameron Norrie after two hours and 15 minutes.

The former world No. 3 entered the tournament on a protected ranking, challenged by a series of injuries, including an Achilles injury and a broken toe, which has sidelined the 33-year-old for the last couple of years.

However, the resilient 8-time title winner has reached two quarterfinals in the four events he has competed in, Rotterdam and last week at the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, falling to eventual champion Alex de Minaur in straight sets.

At the cinch Championships, his fifth tournament appearance this season, the Canadian player aims to go the distance after winning a high-level close battle against Norrie without dropping a set en route to secure his spot in the second round.

The upset of the day came at the hands of Australian Jordan Thompson, who took down seventh seed Holger Rune 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-3 after two hours and six minutes.

The world No. 43, who arrived in London off the back of a five-match losing streak, survived a monumental test, coming back from a set down and then rallying to steal a second set tiebreak to force a decider.

Then, the Los Cabos reigning champion held his ground, raising his level to wrap up the third set and the match, advancing to the next round where he will meet five-time cinch Championships winner Andy Murray or Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin.

American Frances Tiafoe retired from his contest against qualifier Rinky Hijikata due to a right hip injury.

The last match of the opening day of action between Chilean Alejandro Tabilo and Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina was suspended when the court surface became slippery and will resume on Tuesday with Tabilo leading 7-6(6), 3-6, 2-0.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

Comment on This Article

Reply to