ATP Tour: Queens Club Championships Selected Round of 16 Matches Preview

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Damien Kayat Previews selected Round of 16 matches from the ATP Tour's Queens Club Championships.

Marin Cilic 2/9 | Gilles Muller 3/1
There’s no other way to look at it: Gilles Muller has had an awful year thus far. He started fairly promisingly in the Aussie Open with a run to the Round of 32, but since then it has been a rapid downward spiral for the affable left-hander from Luxembourg. Other than that, a quarterfinal appearance at the Sofia Open and Round of 16 finish in the Open 13 are the best he has to show for a forgettable season. But his victory over Shapavalov in the opening round reaffirmed how dangerous this guy is on the grass-courts. Last year’s conqueror over Rafa Nadal in Wimbledon reached the quarterfinal stage. He is also a two-time finalist and once champion of the Rosmalen grass-court event. So considering the odds of 3/1, you could do a whole lot worse than Muller this week.

Marin Cilic’s quarterfinal loss to Del Potro at Wimbledon must have been heartbreaking, especially when you consider that Del Potro looked absolutely down and out at one stage of that match. The 2012 Queen’s Champion and 2013 runner-up added that to the heartbreak experienced at the Aussie Open at the hands of Roger Federer. But last year’s beaten Wimbledon finalist- he suffered awfully with blisters in the final, forcing him to withdraw against Federer again- returns to a surface that he loves. His routine victory over Fernando Verdasco in the opening match only underlines his potential to once again lift this title. He also reached the final last season and will be hoping to go one better this year.

Cilic leads the head-to-head 3-0, though those stats are a bit deceiving. He beat Muller in an epic five set match at Wimbledon last year and also edged a nail-biting Queen’s semi-final against him. So Muller looks rather enticing at 3/1, especially; when you look at how close he has run Cilic on grass before.

Stan Wawrinka 13/10 | Sam Querrey 6/10
Three-Time Grand Slam Champion Wawrinka has enjoyed a world ranking plummet of note in the aftermath of that major left knee injury. His 5/7 win loss ratio shows just what a struggle it has been for Stan the Man. He perhaps has tried to return from injury too early one too many times, only exacerbating the problem. And he is coming to the surface that has giving him the least amount of joy over the years. Wawrinka has actually never won a title on grass, and his two quarterfinal appearances at Wimbledon suggest that this is undoubtedly his weakest surface. But Wawrinka is a fighter and will be determined to turn his season around.

He comes up against an opponent he knows all too well. Sam Querrey really rose to prominence with that brilliant run to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2016, a run which precipitated the beginning of the demise of one Novak Djokovic. He then bettered that last season with a tremendous run to the semi-finals at SW19. The 2010 Queen’s Champion also has final appearances in both the US Men’s Clay-Court Championships and the event in Nottingham. His recent form has been extremely poor however, with a run to the final in New York and a quarterfinal run in Indian Wells his best returns this season. He also comes up against a man who certainly holds the edge over him in head-to-head clashes.

Wawrinka leads the head-to-head 5-1, including a win in their only ever meeting on grass- which was here in Queens in 2014. So though Wawrinka isn’t in the greatest form I think 13/10 looks fairly decent for a guy of his pedigree, especially looking at Querrey’s own lack of form. 

Written by Damien Kayat for

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