Defending champion Marin Cilic and second-seeded Tomas Berdych advanced to the third round at Queen’s Club on Wednesday, but top seeded Andy Murray’s bid to join them was frustrated after rain forced his match to be suspended.
Murray’s match against Nicolas Mahut was called off after the Scot took the opening set 6-3 and with the second set level at 2-2.
The No. 5-seeded Cilic was never under pressure with a 6-3, 6-4 win over fellow Croat Ivand Dodig, who failed to earn a break point.
Cilic won the title last year when David Nalbandian was defaulted for violent conduct after he kicked an advertising sign and injured a line judge.
Berdych held off a strong second-set challenge from Dutchman Thiemo De Bakker to win 6-1, 6-4.
It was the Czech’s first appearance at the pre-Wimbledon grass event since he was defeated in the first round in 2005.
The No. 2-seeded Berdych dominated the opening set and won 70 percent of the points, but after a short rain delay at the start of the second set De Bakker held six break points before Berdych earned a vital break to lead 4-3.
”I think it’s a preparation for Wimbledon with everything, especially these tough moments,” said Berdych of the rain-interuption. ”It’s also good to know how to handle that, and I did it quite well. So I’m happy for it.”
Murray, who won the title in 2009 and 2011, was beaten by Mahut at the same stage of last year’s tournament, but there looked little danger of a repeat in the first set.
The Frenchman, who has been granted a wild card for Wimbledon, offered considerable resistance. But Murray won two of the seven break points he earned to take the opening set.
Rain then forced the players off court. Although they resumed play, only one game was completed before another break, and play was then suspended for a third time.
Fourth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga failed to get on court, and two further matches were suspended.
Former four-time champion Lleyton Hewitt claimed a 6-4, 6-3 upset victory over 10th seeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
Eighth-seeded South African Kevin Anderson withdrew with a shoulder injury and was replaced in the draw by Rohan Bopanna of India. Frenchman Michael Llodra also withdrew because of a hamstring injury, giving Australian Marinko Matosevic a walkover into the third round.