London, England – Rising Frenchman Benoit Paire and four-time champion Lleyton Hewitt were among Monday's first-round winners at the $900,000 Aegon Championships, a grass-court Wimbledon tune-up.
The ninth-seeded world No. 25 Paire handled British qualifier Jamie Baker 7-5, 6-2, while the former No. 1 and former Wimbledon champion Hewitt overcame American journeyman Michael Russell 4-6, 6-1, 6-3 at The Queen's Club.
The two-time Grand Slam champion Hewitt captured this event from 2000-02 and again in 2006.
Several other men posted opening-round wins on Day 1, including Belgian Xavier Malisse and American Denis Kudla, who topped Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-0, 6-3. Malisse held off Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
Malisse is rewarded with a match against third-seeded former U.S. Open champ Juan Martin del Potro.
This week's top seeds are last year's Wimbledon runner-up Andy Murray and 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych. The 2012 U.S. Open champion Murray was the Queen's Club winner in 2009 and 2011.
Croat Marin Cilic titled here a year ago when his opponent in the final, 2002 Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian, defaulted the match after smashing his racquet into an advertising board and injuring a linesman in the process. Cilic lost the first set via tiebreak and was leading 4-3 in the second when the match was stopped.
The 2013 Queen's Club champ will earn $115,000.