Nick Kyrgios’s Wimbledon preparations have suffered a setback following a first-round defeat to world No.9 Milos Raonic at the Queen’s Club.
Kyrgios was bounced in his opening match at Queen’s for the second straight year after going down 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 6-4 to Raonic on Wednesday.
Having started the day locked at a set apiece, with play held over from Tuesday night when players were forced from the court due to bad light, Raonic looked the more likely early on.
He forced Kyrgios to dig deep in the third game of the day, but the Australian produced a big hold having given up a break point from being up 40-15.
Kyrgios recovered with two big serves to escape on that occasion and go 2-1 up before both players traded quick service games on the back of their booming serves.
But Kyrgios faltered when serving at 4-4, double-faulting in the windy conditions to hand the crucial break to his Canadian rival.
Raonic, who sent down 20 aces, then served out the match to complete the two-hour-and-five-minute victory.
On Tuesday, Kyrgios had looked to be confirming himself as a genuine Wimbledon threat as he took the first set from Raonic in a tense tiebreak.
The big-serving Raonic barely looked like dropping his serve throughout the victory, with Kyrgios having just the two break-point opportunities – both squandered in the final game of the match.
Kyrgios did have his moments of magic, including producing a superb drop shot to force an error from the two-time grand slam semi-finalist that secured the first set tiebreak.
Raonic, who has taken on seven-times grand slam winner John McEnroe as his coach, lifted the tempo to start the second set and earned the vital break in the fifth game after Kyrgios had saved four break points.
Raonic then lent on his booming serve, which earned 14 aces across the two sets, to take the second set and force a decider before they were ordered from the court.
Elsewhere in the draw on Wednesday, England’s Kyle Edmund produced the biggest win of his career by upsetting eighth seed Gilles Simon 6-4 3-6 6-1.