LONDON ( Associated Press) – Casper Roode faced a difficult transition from clay to grass court as the top seed lost his opening-round match at the Queens Club on Tuesday to the number 180 opponent in straight sets.
Nine days after playing and losing to Rafael Nadal in the final of the French Open, Rudd was defeated 7-6(4), 7-6(2) by a 26-year-old British Ryan Penniston in his first match. ATP Tour Main Draw
It was only the seventh time that top seed Queens had lost a first-round match in the Open Era, joining an impressive list of Norwegian Andy Murray, Pete Sampras and Jimmy Connors.
“I really can’t believe it,” Peniston said. “It feels like a dream. I didn’t sleep much last night, it doesn’t feel real.
“Obviously Casper is an unreal player, he did so well at the French Open so I knew it was a tough question. But you have to step on the court knowing that you have a chance to win – so that’s what I did.” “
Rood is a clay-court expert with little opinion on grass. He recently said that “grass is for golf players” and he felt “for now it is more comfortable on a golf course than on a tennis court on grass.”
He struggled with his timing throughout the match and also needed treatment for his hip after taking a tumble at the baseline.
Peniston won five consecutive points en route to the first set tiebreaker, shortly after Roode slipped to set point.
Rudd also fell early in the second set, but broke Peniston at first to 4-3, only to break back immediately for the British No. 7 and then win another tiebreaker.
Second seed and defending champion, Matteo Berrettini, had no such problems in the first match of his title defense, when he won 6–3, 6–3 against a more established British player in Dan Evans, who took the grass. -Court won the Nottingham Open. on Sunday.
2010 champion Sam Querrey in Queens showed he still had the strength to climb the grass at age 34, beating fifth seed Diego Schwartzman 6-1, 6-4.
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