LONDON: Defending champion Marin Cilic was cut down to size by Argentine Diego Schwartzman in the second round of the Queen's Club Championships on Thursday as the rain that has dogged the tournament finally relented.
The big-serving Croatian, the fifth seed, lost 6-4 6-4 in the opening match on centre court - a result all the more surprising as it was only the diminutive Schwartzman's third career victory on grass.
It proved a poor day for the big guns with second seed Kevin Anderson, runner-up at Wimbledon last year, beaten 6-1 4-6 6-4 by Frenchman Gilles Simon and three-times Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka ousted in three sets by Nicolas Mahut.
Mahut had an eventful day as he was given a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after leaving a ballgirl in tears when he struck her with a ball.
The qualifier had just dropped serve and decided to send down a practice delivery that clipped the ballgirl in the head as she went about her duties at the back of the court.
It was clearly accidental but followed another Mahut incident two days ago when he skidded over chasing a wide ball and ploughed into another unfortunate ballgirl.
World number 191 Mahut, who beat fourth seed Wawrinka 3-6 7-5 7-6(2), faces Simon for a place in the semi-finals.
Cilic, who beat Novak Djokovic to win the title for the second time last year, never looked entirely comfortable and dropped serve three times as he slipped to defeat.
Greek top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, making his debut at the prestigious Wimbledon warm-up event, belatedly moved through to the second round as he finished off home hope Kyle Edmund 6-3 7-5 having come off the previous night at 3-3 in the second set.
Tsitsipas needed seven match points to end home interest in the singles draw and set up a clash, later on Thursday, with Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.
In another first-round match delayed by the poor weather, Australian Nick Kyrgios beat Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena in straight sets but became embroiled in a row with the umpire Fergus Murphy and was warned for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Drier conditions helped organisers get the schedule back on track after Tuesday was washed out and only a handful of matches were completed on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman,; Editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond)