associate sponsors

Havells
HDFC

Queen's Club Championships: Novak Djokovic makes strong start with win over John Millman; injured Yuki Bhambri withdraws

London: Troubled Novak Djokovic made a strong start to his Wimbledon preparations with a 6-2, 6-1 demolition of Australian qualifier John Millman at Queen's Club on Tuesday.

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts during his first round match against Australia's John Millman. Reuters

Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts during his first round match against Australia's John Millman. Reuters

Djokovic is a lowly 22nd in the ATP rankings after an embarrassing French Open quarter-final defeat against Italian journeyman Marco Cecchinato extended his wretched run in 2018.

The 31-year-old Serb, hampered by an elbow injury last year, has failed to reach the semi-finals in any of his last five Grand Slam appearances.

Djokovic hasn't earned a major title since competing his career Grand Slam by winning the 2016 French Open.

Dogged by rumours that he no longer has the motivation to return to the top, the 12-time Grand Slam winner decided to start his bid for a fourth Wimbledon crown by accepting a Queen's wild card.

With Wimbledon starting on 2 July, Djokovic was desperate to improve his lacklustre 14-8 record in 2018.

And, in his first appearance at Queen's since 2010, Djokovic was quickly in the groove on grass as he romped to a first-round win in 65 minutes.

Breaks in the fifth and seventh games sealed a one-sided first set.

Barely tested by the world number 63, Djokovic broke twice in the first five games of the second set to see off Millman with ease.

"Look, it's not the first nor the last match that I lost in my life. I know how to deal with these particular situations," Djokovic said when asked how he handled the French Open setback.

"I had to take some time off the court, you know, recharge the batteries physically and mentally.

"I went hiking with my wife with no kids for five days, if you really want to know.

"It was a wonderful time after two years with not having a break only with her, so we managed to do that.

"We were very far away from any tennis court, in nature, and it was the best way to clear the mind."

A sterner test lies in wait for Djokovic in the second round against 2017 ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov.

World number five Dimitrov beat Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 in his opening match as the Bulgarian bids to win Queen's for the second time

In other first round action on Tuesday, former Wimbledon finalist Milos Raonic was leading 6-1, 3-1 when Indian qualifier Yuki Bhambri retired due to a knee injury.

But Canada's Raonic, who reached the Stuttgart final last weekend, then announced he would be pulling out of the tournament himself after suffering a shoulder injury that could put his Wimbledon participation in doubt.

Reigning Queen's champion Feliciano Lopez advanced with a 6-3, 6-7 (7/9), 6-3 victory against Belgian fourth seed David Goffin.

Lopez had been due to play Raonic next, but instead the Spaniard will get a walkover into the quarter-finals.

South African third seed Kevin Anderson suffered a surprise 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 7-6 (7/3) defeat by Argentina's Leonardo Mayer.

French qualifier Julien Benneteau beat former Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.

Benneteau's next opponent is France's Adrian Mannarino, who beat Dan Evans 6-4, 0-6, 7-5 in the Briton's first ATP Tour level match since returning from a 12-month ban after testing positive for cocaine.


Updated Date: Jun 20, 2018 08:52 AM

Also Watch

Social Media Star: Abhishek Bachchan, Varun Grover reveal how they handle selfies, trolls and broccoli
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 It's a Wrap: Soorma star Diljit Dosanjh and Hockey legend Sandeep Singh in conversation with Parul Sharma
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 Watch: Dalit man in Uttar Pradesh defies decades of prejudice by taking out baraat in Thakur-dominated Nizampur village
  • Monday, July 16, 2018 India's water crisis: After govt apathy, Odisha farmer carves out 3-km canal from hills to tackle scarcity in village
  • Sunday, July 15, 2018 Maurizio Sarri, named as new Chelsea manager, is owner Roman Abramovich's latest gamble in quest for 'perfect football'

Also See