ATP Tour

Wawrinka off to a solid start at Queen's

Stan Wawrinka (AFP)
Stan Wawrinka (AFP)

London - Stan Wawrinka kicked off his Wimbledon preparations with a 6-2, 6-3 win over British youngster Cameron Norrie in the Queen's Club first round on Monday.

READ: Djokovic reflects on frustrating times

Wawrinka has struggled to return to peak form since suffering a left knee injury last year that required two operations and wiped out the second half of the Swiss star's season.

Still hampered by the problem this term, Wawrinka was sidelined again for three months in between a second round exit at the Australian Open and a first round loss in the French Open.

The 33-year-old arrived in west London having lost six of his last seven ATP Tour matches and, given grass has never been Wawrinka's favourite surface, he might have feared more misery at the pre-Wimbledon event.

But the three-time Grand Slam champion had an obliging opponent in South Africa-born Norrie, who was given a wild card entry after rising to 79th in the rankings.

Wawrinka hardly had to break sweat to see off Norrie and next faces former Queen's winner Sam Querrey of the United States or British wild card Jay Clarke.

In other first round action, Luxembourg's Gilles Muller beat rising Canadian star Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (8/6).

World number 23 Shapovalov is the youngest man in the top 30 since Richard Gasquet in 2005, but the 19-year-old was unable to tame the big-serving Muller.

Muller, ranked 32nd, will play top seed Croatian Marin Cilic or Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco in the second round.

Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic, the biggest names in the Queen's draw, are both due in first round action on Tuesday.

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