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Murray & Roddick Fall On Tough Day For Seeds

London, U.K.

Lopez© Getty ImagesFeliciano Lopez hit 15 aces in his three-set win Wednesday.

Top seed Andy Murray and four-time champion Andy Roddick both made hasty exits at the AEGON Championships Wednesday in a tough day for the seeds at the ATP World Tour 250 tennis tournament.

Murray, himself a two-time champion at Queen’s Club, lost a cliffhanger to Frenchman Nicolas Mahut 6-3, 6-7(4), 7-6(1). Mahut, the 2008 finalist, broke open the match by winning the first six points of the third-set tie-break.

Murray said, "It was a very close match... losing serve at the beginning of the third set after breaking him was probably not great. Got him back into the match. He's a very good grass court player. He's been in the final here. He's beaten Nadal and a point away from winning the tournament.

"I was hitting the ball fine today.  It wasn't like I was shanking balls and mishitting. I just need to spend more time on the grass."

Mahut has a solid 29-23 career record on grass, which compares favourably to his 45-69 record on hard and 8-21 on clay, although he did reach the Roland Garros third round for the first time two weeks ago.

"My best win before was [Rafael] Nadal here on the same court, centre court, so it's a lucky court for me," said Mahut. "Rafa was a very good performance, but today beating Andy Murray here in Queen's, it's very special, but it's only second round."

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Roddick suffered an opening-round exit at the AEGON Championships despite firing 22 aces. The 29-year-old American fell 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to World No. 67 Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

“I thought I had a look there in the third set, and honestly I felt like I was going to take that thing once I turned it. Didn't work out that way,” Roddick said. “The guy played great. I didn't hit the ball too badly.  I've certainly played a lot worse this year so far.”

Roddick, who has not won a match since the Sony Open Tennis in Miami in March, said that under different circumstances he may have pulled out a win. “Both ways are contagious. You win, you can hit the ball terribly and somehow you get through.  It works against you until you find your groove. Certainly I'm looking right now.”

Second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga escaped the exodus of top title hopefuls Wednesday, as he cruised past British wild card Jamie Baker 6-3, 6-2 in 57 minutes. The Frenchman finished runner-up to Murray last year at Queen's, and lauded Mahut's efforts against the British No. 1.

"If Andy lost today, it's not because he was not good, it was maybe also because Nicolas was unbelievable," he said. "Everybody knows he's able to play fantastic tennis on grass, and he did it today. He played already a final here. He had some match points here, like me last year. On grass he's maybe one of the best players in the world."

No. 16 seed Ivo Karlovic fired 35 aces and held match point against Chinese Taipei’s Yen-Hsun Lu, but was unable to get the job done. The 6’ 10” Croatian held a match point at 6-5 in the third-set tie-break only to be aced by Lu, who went on to win 6-7(3), 7-6(6), 7-6(7). Lu saved all five break points he faced, but was unable to convert two chances on Karlovic's serve.

Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov did not face a break point in a 7-6(1), 6-4 win over No. 14 seed Gilles Muller.

Fifth seed Feliciano Lopez fired 15 aces in his 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 win over Belgian Steve Darcis. Sixth seed Marin Cilic defeated Australian Matthew Ebden 6-2, 6-1. The Croatian dropped just four points on his first serve and saved the lone break point he faced.

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