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By Chris Oddo | Monday June 18, 2018

Last year’s Wimbledon runner up Marin Cilic played like a man possessed and easily took down Spain’s Fernando Verdasco on Monday at Queen’s Club in London, 6-3, 6-4. The top-seeded Croatian cracked seven aces, dropped just four points on serve, and won 28 of 29 first-serve point to improve to 9-5 against Verdasco and set up a second-round clash with Gilles Muller of Luxembourg.

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"I lost to him few times already, and that just pushed me to be ready from the first point," Cilic said after the match. "I got into the match really well. I served well straightaway from the beginning...  so I'm pleased to win it in straight sets.".

35-year-old Muller is no slouch on the grass himself—he upset Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon last year to reach the quarterfinals and was also a semifinalist at Queen’s Club in 2017. Muller knocked off 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov in a hard-fought match, 7-6(7), 7-6(6).

Muller saved a set point in the first-set tiebreak against the young Canadian and converted his third match point to seal his victory in one hour and 41 minutes.

Tennis Express

In other action on a sunny, breezy day in London, Stan Wawrinka got an important win over Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie, 6-2, 6-3. The Swiss has dropped to 261 in the rankings but he has no points to defend between now and the end of the season. He improved to 5-7 on the season and won his first match at Queen’s Club since 2015.

Wawrinka will face American Sam Querrey in the second round. Querrey eased past 19-year-old British wild card Jay Clarke, 6-3, 6-3.

Other winners on Day 1 at Queen’s Club were Frances Tiafoe, who defeated Jared Donaldson, 6-4, 7-6(4), and Daniil Medvedev, who battled past Jack Sock, 7-5, 6-3.


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