2024 Queen’s Club Championships Round-Up: Raonic's record, Rune’s slip, and a controversial suspension

Tuesday, 18 June 2024 at 09:35
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The first round of the ATP 500 Queen’s Club Championships was marked by Milos Raonic setting a historic record for aces in a three-set match. Holger Rune and Frances Tiafoe faced disappointing exits, while the slippery court conditions began causing problems.
One who had a good debut was Grigor Dimitrov, who did not slow down and swept his opponent. The day ended amid on-court controversy. The duel between Alejandro Tabilo and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina was suspended when the Chilean was leading after the Spaniard complained about the state of the court.

Raonic sets record for aces, Dimitrov advances comfortably

The 33-year-old Canadian delivered a splendid performance on Centre Court at Queen’s. Raonic came back from a set down against Cameron Norrie (No. 40) to claim an epic 6-7(6), 6-3, 7-6 victory with an unexpected record in just his fourth tournament of the year, having been injured in two of them.
The former world No. 3 hit an incredible 47 aces, setting a historic record for a player in a three-set match on any surface in the history of the sport. The previous record was held by Ivo Karlovic, who hit 45 aces at the 2015 Halle Open.
Grigor Dimitrov had a successful debut in the main draw with a dominant performance against grass-court specialist Adrian Mannarino, whom he defeated 6-1, 6-2 in just 62 minutes. The world No. 10 won 85% of his first-serve points and had 12 aces, showcasing a high level upon his return to grass courts. He awaits the winner of Sebastian Korda vs. Karen Khachanov in the second round.

Rune and Tiafoe struggle with Queen’s Club grass

The state of the Queen’s Club courts has been an issue for several players. The especially damp conditions of recent days in London have made the courts more slippery for many: "It was quite slippery, to be honest. But, yeah, I mean, I think I slipped maybe three times. One time quite important," commented Rune.
The Danish 7th seed suffered a surprising defeat to Jordan Thompson despite having a set advantage, losing 6-4, 6-7(4), 3-6. Rune was defending points from last year's semifinals and is not registered for any more grass-court tournaments until Wimbledon.
Frances Tiafoe had even worse luck, as he couldn't finish his match against Rinky Hijikata. The American suffered a fall in the third set that forced him to retire due to a hip injury, hobbling off the court.
Even John Isner commented on the court conditions on social media: "Queen’s is undoubtedly one of the best events of the year, but the courts are diabolically slippery, especially on Monday and Tuesday. Just ask DelPo. Sucks for Frances, hope he can recover for SW19," the former world No. 8 wrote, recalling Juan Martin Del Potro's fall in 2019 that led to hip issues eventually forcing his retirement.

Controversy in Tabilo vs. Davidovich Fokina match

The Chilean player performed better in the crucial moments of the first set, winning a tight tiebreak 8-6. Davidovich slipped several times during the first set and complained to the umpire about the court conditions.
In the second set, however, luck was on the Spaniard's side as he secured a break in the 8th game and closed the set 6-3 amidst light rain. The match was suspended when Tabilo was leading the third set 2-0 after Davidovich protested to the umpire and then to the supervisor, while Tabilo insisted on continuing the match.

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