Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson had to battle back from a set down to begin his 2019 grass court season with a 4-6 7-6 (5) 6-4 victory over Britain’s Cameron Norrie at Queen’s on Monday.
Anderson returned to court for the first time since March after missing the clay court season due to a lingering elbow injury and looked short on match practice as Norrie claimed the first set 6-4.
The world number eight slowly began to find his groove in the second, but still needed a tie-break to take the match into a deciding set.
Norrie’s serve was finally broken to give Anderson a 3-2 lead and the giant South African served it out to reach round two.
“It feels fantastic to be back. It’s always difficult to miss tournaments, it’s been a tough year, but there has been a lot of time and effort put in to get me back out there,” said Anderson.
“It feels good now, and it held up well today with a long three-set match. I found a nice rhythm and on the grass that helps.”
Reigning champion Marin Cilic had an easier afternoon in London as he swept aside Christian Garin 6-1 7-6 (7/5).
Daniil Medvedev, Diego Schwartzman and Nicolas Mahut were also winners in straight sets.