AEGON CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014
Stepanek Stuns Murray At Queen's; Wawrinka Races Through
The Queen's Club, London, England
by ATP Staff|
World No. 42 Radek Stepanek upset three-time former champion and home favourite Andy Murray 7-6(10), 6-2 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club.
Stepanek recorded his first Top 10 win in nearly two years and the 24th of his career (24-71 record). The Czech advances to a quarter-final clash with Kevin Anderson, against whom he has a 1-1 FedEx ATP Head2Head record.
"Beating him is actually a great win for me," said Stepanek. "When you play the best ones, you're going to come out with your best. I think that's what I did today. Definitely it's special to play on grass in England after he won Wimbledon and he won the Olympics here."
After losing the break he had earned in the first game of the match, Murray squandered eight set points in the opener, which Stepanek won in 77 minutes. The 35 year old then capitalised on his momentum with a break at the start of the second set and from 3-2 reeled off the final three games of the match to claim victory in one hour and 54 minutes.
"I have only got myself to blame that I lost the first set," admitted Murray. "I don't know how many set points I had, but quite a lot of them were on my serve. "On this surface especially you shouldn't really be losing sets like that. For me, that's what's disappointing really about the match. Then, unfortunately, got broken in the first game of the second set. I couldn't quite get it back."
The 27-year-old Murray was defending his title at this ATP World Tour 250 grass-court tournament, which he won in 2009, ’11 and ’13. The Scot, who reached the Roland Garros semi-finals last week (l. to Nadal), dropped to a 27-11 match record on the season. He suffered his first grass-court defeat since the 2012 Wimbledon final against Roger Federer. He had won 19 matches in a row on grass.
"I'm going to take a couple of days off now, because since the Monday before the French Open I have played every single day bar one up to now. So I will take a couple of days off," said the Dunblane native. "Then on Sunday I'll be back here for the charity match (Rally For Bally). Then I will start practising Sunday evening and start getting ready."
Top seed Stan Wawrinka suffered no such setback, cruising past 2010 champion Sam Querrey 6-2, 6-2 in just 50 minutes. The Swiss won 76 per cent of his service points and converted four of his six break points to reach the quarter-finals.
"I'm really happy with the match, the performance and the way I'm playing," said Wawrinka. "I'm serving really big. I did what I'm doing on the practice court. That's means I'm playing well. That's the most important thing. I need to keep doing that, keep working out in practice to be ready for all the matches."
The 29-year-old Wawrinka is bidding to win his first grass-court title this week at The Queen’s Club; he was runner-up in ‘s-Hertogenbosch last year (l. to Mahut). He will next play Marinko Matosevic, who upset the fifth seed and 2011 finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-2, 6-4 in 74 minutes. The Australian has found success on the grass this season, winning an ATP Challenger Tour event in Nottingham last week and opening his Aegon Championships campaign with a first-round upset of No. 9 Marin Cilic.
Fourth seed Grigor Dimitrov reached the quarter-finals at Queen’s for the second time with a 7-6(3), 6-4 victory over Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The Bulgarian is looking to bounce back from a disappointing first-round exit at Roland Garros and goes on to face eighth seed Alexandr Dolgopolov, who was leading 6-4, 4-2 when Jarkko Nieminen was forced to retire.