Nadal sent packing at Queen's, Wawrinka and Murray win
By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) - Just when it seemed safe for Rafa Nadal devotees to peer up from behind the sofa the Spaniard suffered another horror show at the hands of Ukrainian spin wizard Alexandr Dolgopolov at Queen's Club on Tuesday.
Former world number one Nadal looked rejuvenated last week when he won the Stuttgart grasscourt title having endured a title-less run on his beloved European claycourts and arrived at the Aegon Championships with a spring in his step.
But the form the 14-times grand slam champion displayed in Stuttgart was only fleetingly in evidence as he went down 6-3 6-7(6) 6-4 to a player ranked 79th in the world.
Despite a dispiriting loss in front of Spain's former king Juan Carlos, who was sat in the front row, the 29-year-old tried to remain positive with Wimbledon a little under two weeks away.
"This week I lost an opportunity, but I am playing better than before, and enjoying more on court than before," he told reporters. "Today I lost. I accept. I keep going. I'm going to practise hard. I hope to be ready to play well in Wimbledon."
Second seed Stanislas Wawrinka, who claimed Nadal's French Open crown this month with a memorable defeat of Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros immediately hit top gear when he swatted away Australian Nick Kyrgios 6-3 6-4 in 49 minutes.
Wawrinka will face big-serving South African Kevin Anderson on Wednesday.
Top seed and home favourite Andy Murray got in the Wimbledon spirit by donning a pristine all-white kit in a 6-4 7-5 defeat of Taiwan's Lu Yen-hsun, a player he beat on the way to winning the title at the All England Club in 2013. Continued...