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Former Kings of Queen’s Murray and Lopez make Their Exits at the Hands of Top Two Seeds

Britain’s Andy Murray in action against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini during their match on day 4 at the Cinch Championships at the Queen’s Club in London, Britain, 17 June 2021. EPA-EFE/VICKIE FLORES.

By Ricky Dimon

Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez were the kings of Queen’s Club in 2019.

Neither one lasted past Thursday this time around.

Both Murray and Lopez were knocked out of the singles event during second-round action on Thursday afternoon. The 34-year-old Scot benefited from a favorable draw against Benoit Paire in the first round, but he was not so lucky in having to face No. 1 seed Matteo Berrettini immediately thereafter. Murray, playing singles for the first time since early March, went down 6-3, 6-3 to the Italian.

“I played two sets in preparation for this event,” the former world No. 1 noted. “It’s not very much when you haven’t played matches since March. I do feel like I genuinely have been hitting the ball well in practice. But then like today, when you’re under a bit more pressure and stuff and having to make very split-second decisions when you’re on the court, if the guy is serving 140 miles an hour it’s difficult to prepare for that.

“I actually felt my movement was quite good for both of the matches. And all of the numbers and [analytics] from the first match we got, in terms of the speeds I was moving at on the court, we were happy with that as a team.

“My tennis today was not very good. That’s the thing that I’ll need to improve the most rather than, I think, the actual movement around the court.”

Britain’s Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopez of Spain lift the championship trophy after winning their mens doubles final against Britain’s Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram at the Fever Tree Championship at Queen’s Club in London, Britain, 23 June 2019. EPA-EFE/WILL OLIVER

Murray did not have to move much at Queen’s Club in 2019, when he was making his comeback to tennis following major hip surgery. He only played doubles with Lopez, and they made an improbable run to the title.

In fact, two years ago–before the Covid-19 pandemic canceled the 2020 festivities–Lopez was the undisputed king of Queen’s. Not only did the Spaniard triumph in doubles with Murray, but he also captured the singles title for the second time in his lengthy career. It was a truly unbelievable week for the 37-year-old.

Now 39, Lopez is finally slowing down–and it was obvious in a 6-2, 6-3 loss to Denis Shapovalov.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.