French Open champion Stan Wawrinka made a smooth transition to the grass courts of Queen’s Club as he returned to action after his triumph in Paris with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Australia’s Nick Kyrgios on Tuesday.
Just nine days after his stunning final victory over world number one Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros, Wawrinka made light of the tricky switch from clay to grass with a dominant display against one of the ATP Tour’s brightest young stars.
The Swiss second seed swept through his first round clash in just 49 minutes to set up a second round meeting with big-serving South African Kevin Anderson at the Wimbledon warm-up event.
Wawrinka’s confidence is sky-high after claiming the second Grand Slam crown of his career and the 30-year-old arrived in west London hoping to win his first ever title on grass after losing in the semi-finals at Queen’s last year.
While Wawrinka was on top form, it was a surprisingly subdued exit for Kyrgios, the flamboyant Australian youngster who burst onto the scene last year with a remarkably mature Wimbledon victory over then-world number one Rafael Nadal.
Since then Kyrgios has gone on to underline his growing reputation this year by becoming the first teenager to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals since 1990 and then knocking Roger Federer out of the Madrid Masters.
But, in his first meeting with Wawrinka, the world number 28’s Queen’s debut proved a damp squib.
The 20-year-old from Canberra possesses a brutal serve and blazing forehand, but neither weapon was on display this time as he allowed the world number four to dictate the tempo with his powerful baseline game.
Later on Tuesday, top seed and three-time Queen’s champion Andy Murray plays his opener against Taiwanese qualifier Lu Yen-Hsun.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Nadal, fresh from winning the Stuttgart grass-court event on Sunday, starts his Queen’s campaign against Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.