Rafael Nadal’s Wimbledon grass prep is already over after the former No. 1 blew a 4-2 lead in the final set to lose the final four games and the match to Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-4 at Queen’s Club in London today.
“I was a break up in the third, and then he played some good points,” said Nadal. “I missed a few balls… Nothing to say against me. I played against an uncomfortable player in the first round here and I had my chance. I didn’t play a bad match, but matches here are sometimes decided by just a few things, and I was not lucky enough today. I probably didn’t play enough aggressive when I was up a break at 4-3.”
Even with his Stuttgart title Sunday. the loss was Nadal’s third opening round defeat in his last five grass events.
Dolgopolov, who entered the match losing three straight and four of his last five, had beaten Nadal in their last meeting at Indian Wells also in three sets. The Ukrainian showed no signs of panic down the break in the third despite missing on a matchpoint at 6-5 in the second set breaker.
“Overall I’m really happy with the match,” said Dolgopolov. “Not even because I beat Nadal but the way I played and the way I fought back after a disappointing second set. I think overall I had a really good match.”
Three-time Queen’s champion Andy Murray made a successful grass debut battling past Yen-Hsun Lu 6-4, 7-5.
“It was good,” Murray said. “I always enjoy coming back here. It was not an easy match. He’s a good player, obviously. He takes the ball on and the ball shoots through the court pretty flat. He likes a quicker court. It was a tricky match but it was okay.”
Also, Stan Wawrinka eased past Nick Kyrgios in the opening match of the day and the Swiss’s first event since his French Open title. Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov and John Isner were also winners.
“I’m feeling quite good, for sure,” said Wawrinka. “Still need more time on the grass, more adjustment, especially for moving. Sometimes I’m not moving that well, but today it was a great match. I’m playing well, obviously, and I’m happy with the way I played already for the first match on grass.”
On tap Wednesday are Simon-Kokinakkis, Gasquet-Raonic and Wawrinka-Anderson.
In Halle, the four highest seeds playing all won as Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych, Gael Monfils and Tommy Robredo advanced.
Fan favorite Tommy Haas’s comeback was cut short in Halle by Andreas Seppi in straight sets.
“Overall, it is a great feeling to be back on the centre court again,” the 37-year-old Haas said. “My serve is not good enough yet to feel I’ve got enough free points. It’s going to take time. It’s just a matter of being mentally strong and hungry to keep doing what I have to do. That’s really key.”
Tomorrow, top seed and 7-time winner Roger Federer faces Ernests Gulbis. The Latvian beat Federer in their most recent encounter at the French Open last year.
WEDNESDAY QUEEN’S SCHEDULE
CENTRE COURT start 12:30 pm
 G. Simon (FRA) vs [WC] T. Kokkinakis (AUS)
K. Anderson (RSA) vs  S. Wawrinka (SUI)
R. Gasquet (FRA) vs  M. Raonic (CAN)
A. Dolgopolov (UKR) vs G. Garcia-Lopez (ESP)
 P. Herbert (FRA) / N. Mahut (FRA) vs [WC] L. Hewitt (AUS) / T. Kokkinakis (AUS)
WEDNESDAY HALLE SCHEDULE
STADION start 12:00 noon
[PR] F. Mayer (GER) vs S. Johnson (USA)
[WC] A. Zverev (GER) vs  I. Karlovic (CRO)
 T. Berdych (CZE) vs B. Coric (CRO)
Not Before 5:30 pm
 R. Federer (SUI) vs E. Gulbis (LAT)
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