By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) - French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka was scythed back to earth by big-serving South African Kevin Anderson on the Queen's Club grasscourts as the Swiss bowed out of the Aegon Championships on Wednesday.
Wawrinka, the second seed at the prestigious Wimbledon curtain-raiser, saved five match points and missed a golden opportunity to win the second set before losing 7-6(4) 7-6(11).
Not surprisingly world number 17 Anderson sealed victory with a 22nd booming ace.
Wawrinka, who claimed his second grand slam title with a spellbinding comeback against world number one Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros this month, will rue the few chances that went begging on a cloudy day in west London.
He had two set points on the Anderson serve at 6-5 in the opening set, and two in the elongated second set tiebreak, the second of which he squandered by spraying a forehand wide with the court at his mercy.
Seventh seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon earlier beat Australian teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-4 6-2 despite losing the first nine points of the match.
Simon will face either Canada's Milos Raonic or fellow Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the quarter-finals while Anderson awaits the winners of Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez or Rafa Nadal's conqueror Alexandr Dolgopolov.
Top seed Andy Murray was not in singles action on Wednesday. He will face Fernando Verdasco on Thursday.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)