Former finalist Cameron Norrie launched his bid to earn the grass-court Queen’s Club Championship on home soil by defeating Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia 6-4, 7-6 (5) on Monday.
The British No. 1, seeded No. 5 in west London, fended off one break point in the first set and let three match points slip before converting a fourth on Centre Court in the Wimbledon warmup event.
“It feels good to be back on the grass and back here playing in London in front of a full crowd,” said Norrie, who lost in the 2021 final to Matteo Berrettini.
“It’s always tricky, the first match on grass. I was really happy to get over the line.”
British tennis fans are in for an extra treat this week, with Andy Murray — on a 10-match winning streak on grass after back-to-back titles in second-tier Challenger Tour events — competing in the singles and with Norrie in the doubles competition.
Murray won the doubles title at Queen’s with Feliciano Lopez in 2019 as he started his comeback from hip surgery.
“I just asked him, ‘Do you want to play doubles at Queen’s?’ He said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it.’ It was pretty simple,” Norrie said.
“I’m just going to enjoy it and get another match on the grass and hopefully just pick his brains on a few things. He’s got a lot of confidence at the moment, a good guy to play with.”
There was first-round disappointment for British No. 2 Dan Evans, who lost to American Sebastian Korda 6-4, 7-5 but Ryan Peniston advanced by defeating Ugo Humbert 6-4, 6-2.
Sixth-seeded Lorenzo Musetti of Italy beat British wild card Jan Choinski 6-4, 6-2. Ben Shelton of the United States and Diego Schwartzman of Argentina also progressed to the second round.
Carlos Alcaraz is making his debut at Queen’s this week and is the top seed.