Andy Murray opens Aegon campaign with impressive win

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Birmingham, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Andy Murray opened his title defense at the Aegon Championships with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Paul-Henri Mathieu on Wednesday at The Queen’s Club.

Playing his first match with Amelie Mauresmo as his new coach, Murray converted two of his seven break point chances and won 75 percent of his service points to claim victory in 87 minutes.

Murray improved to 6-0 in his head-to-head series against Mathieu and has only ever lost one set to the Frenchman.

Since his loss to Roger Federer in the 2012 Wimbledon final, the 27-year-old Murray has won 19 consecutive matches on grass, winning a gold medal at the London Olympics in 2012 before clinching the titles at Queen’s and Wimbledon in 2013.

Murray goes on to face No. 15 Radek Stepanek, who hit eight aces as he edged Bernard Tomic 7-6(4), 7-6(5) in one hour and 44 minutes.

In his first week as a Top 10 player, Ernests Gulbis suffered a setback as he was beaten in the second round by world No. 66 Kenny De Schepper, 7-6(3), 7-5 in 78 minutes.

De Schepper advanced against 10th seed Feliciano Lopez, who upset four-time former champion Lleyton Hewitt, 6-3, 6-4.

Fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat David Goffin 7-6(5), 6-2 to reach the third round. The Frenchman fired nine aces and broke serve twice to prevail in 82 minutes. Tsonga next will face Marinko Matosevic, who defeated Lukas Lacko 7-6(3), 6-3 in 72 minutes.

Top seed Stan Wawrinka reached the third round when his opponent, last week’s Nottingham champion, Marcos Baghdatis, was forced to retire after just five games with a right shoulder injury.

Other winners were Alexandr Dolgopolov, Jarkko Nieminen and Sergiy Stakhovsky.

On the women’s side of the event, Samantha Stosur advanced to the third round with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Christina McHale. She will next meet Casey Dellacqua, who downed American Varvara Lepchenko 6-4, 6-3.

In other matches, third seed American Sloane Stephens stifled Francesca Schiavone, 6-2, 6-4 while No. 4 Kirsten Flipkens beat Camila Giorgi, 6-3, 6-2.

Other winners were Barbora Zahlavova Strycova, Klara Koukalova, Zhang Shuai, Petra Cetkovska, Timea Babos, Kimiko Date-Krumm, Alison Riske and Aleksandra Wozniak.

At the Gerry Weber Open, world No. 12 Kei Nishikori reached the quarterfinal after beating Gael Monfils, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

Other winners were Peter Gojowczyk, Alejandro Falla and Philipp Kohlschreiber.

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