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June 19, 2019

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Tough Norrie test at Queen’s for Anderson

Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson had to battle back from a set down to begin his 2019 grass court season with a 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over Britain’s Cameron Norrie at Queen’s on Monday. Anderson returned to the tennis arena for the first time since March after missing the clay court season due to a lingering elbow injury and looked short on match practice as Norrie claimed the first set 6-4.

The world No. 8 slowly began to find his groove in the second, but still needed a tie-break to take the match into a deciding set.

Norrie’s serve was finally broken to give Anderson a 3-2 lead and the giant South African served it out to reach round two.

“It feels fantastic to be back. It’s always difficult to miss tournaments, it’s been a tough year, but there has been a lot of time and effort put in to get me back out there,” said Anderson. “It feels good now, and it held up well today with a long three-set match. I found a nice rhythm and on the grass that helps.”

Reigning champion Marin Cilic had an easier afternoon as he swept aside Christian Garin 6-1, 7-6 (5). Daniil Medvedev, Diego Schwartzman and Nicolas Mahut were also winners.

Meanwhile, German star Alexander Zverev said he needed more practice on grass after beating Dutchman Robin Haase 6-4, 7-5 to reach the second round of the ATP tournament in Halle on Monday. Second seed Zverev came back from 5-2 down in the second set to record his first grass court victory of the season, following an early exit in Stuttgart last week.

“The start of the grass season is always tricky. You need practice to get used to the conditions,” said Zverev.

World No. 5 Zverev, who won the ATP Finals in London last year, is among the favorites in Halle alongside nine-time winner Roger Federer

Federer faces Australia’s John Millman in his first-round game while Zverev can now prepare for a second-round clash with American Steve Johnson, who beat Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3, 6-3.

Third seed Karen Khachanov is also in the second round after beating Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 7-6 (5), 6-4.

Pierre-Hugues Herbert sprung a minor surprise as he beat veteran Gael Monfils 7-6 (6), 6-4. Elsewhere, Radu Albot came from behind to win 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 over Matthew Ebden and Joao Sousa recorded a 7-6 (3), 6-1 win over Hubert Hurkacz.


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