Stan Wawrinka put in a solid effort against Sam Querrey but ultimately came up short as he crashed out of the Fever-Tree Championships.
The Swiss has struggled to recover from a knee injury over the past year but put in one of his best performances in the first round against Britains Cam Norrie, before pushing the big-serving American hard on Wednesday in a 5-7 7-6 (7-3) 1-6 loss.
Querrey has real pedigree on this surface. He has taken out the top seed at Wimbledon over the past two years – beating Novak Djokovic and then Andy Murray – and he remains one of the biggest threats on grass.
For three-time Grand Slam champion Wawrinka, who has yet to go beyond the quarter-finals at Wimbledon, his game remains a work in progress but he looks fitter and stronger than in previous months, which is an encouraging sign.
Querrey got off to a bright start – breaking for a 3-1 lead – but Wawrinka soon pegged him back.
With the Swiss leading 5-4, he passed up seven break point chances with Querrey clinging on.
Having failed to get the breakthrough, Wawrinka was then broken to 15 before the American served out the set.
The second went with serve throughout, with Querrey saving the only break point opportunities, and Wawrinka levelled the match in a tiebreak – much to the delight of the Queens crowd.
Once again, though, the American snatched the break for a 3-1 lead.
Wawrinka, clearly enraged, smashed his racquet into the turf before decimating it over his knee in his trademark move.
Former Queens champion Querrey snatched another breakthrough at the death and booked his spot in the quarter-finals.