Mahut knocks out top seed Murray

Andy Murray's Wimbledon preparations suffered a blow when the top-seeded Briton was beaten in his opening match at the Queen's Club tournament by Frenchman Nicolas Mahut on Wednesday.

The Scot, defending champion at the grasscourt event, never looked comfortable on the centre court and slid out 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 in the second round match. He had received a bye for the first round.

Mahut, the 2008 finalist and now the world number 65, raced through the third-set tiebreak, taking the first six points to win 7-1. He needed only two of the six match points, with Murray slicing a backhand into the net to end proceedings.

The Frenchman will now play Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov while Murray, the world number four who was beaten in the French Open quarterfinals, must find another way to prepare for the start of Wimbledon on June 25.

Murray was outwardly unworried. "There is no need for me to panic. You know I lost the match 7-6 in the third (set) in the first round of the tournament but it takes a little bit of time to adapt to the grass courts," he said.

Mahut's second-seeded compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also overcame a British opponent to go through, beating Jamie Baker 6-3, 6-2 in just under an hour.

American Andy Roddick, the seventh seed who was been struggling with injury and was beaten in four sets by Mahut in the first round of the French Open, also went out after losing 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 to Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Hesh-Bopanna advance

The Indian pair of Mahesh Bhupathi and Rohan Bopanna overcame fighting Marcos Baghdatis and Jamie Murray to reach the quarterfinals of the AEGON Championships on Thursday.

The fifth seed Indian duo, which got a bye in the first round, beat the Cyprus-Scot combo 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) in one hour and 12 minutes in the pre-quarterfinal round.

The second set was stretched to tie-breaker as Murray and Baghdatis fought well to save five break points that Bhupathi and Bopanna created.

Leander Paes is also in the fray along with a new partner in South Africa’s Kevin Anderson. The unseeded pair will face the French duo of Julien Benneteau and Nicolas Mahut.

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