Aegon Championships | The Queen’s Club

Summer is officially here with the start of the grass court season. World and British number one Andy Murray, who is also defending champion and top seed, will be looking to win his sixth title at this year’s Aegon Championships which starts at The Queen’s Club in London today until Sunday 25th June.

Murray who won the title in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 will begin the defence of his title against fellow British player Aljaz Bedene tomorrow. Thirty two players are competing in this year’s event including  Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (5), 2012 winner Marin Cilic (4), John Isner, Nick Kyrgios (9), French Open runner-up Stan Wawrinka (2) and last year’s Queen’s Club runner-up Milos Raonic (3). Other players to watch include British number two Kyle Edmund and wildcards Cameron Norrie and James Ward.

Aegon Championships - Day Four

In the doubles Scottish-Brazilian pairings Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares, fresh from winning the Mercedes Cup doubles title in Stuttgart, are third seeds with Murray’s former partner John Peers and Henri Kontinen ranked number one. French duo Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut are second seeds and former world number one pairing of brothers Bob and Mike Bryan are seeded fourth.

The Queen’s Club, named after Queen Victoria, was established in 1886 and hosts the world famous Aegon Championships on its 28 outdoor grass courts. The annual event on the men’s professional ATP World Tour was started in 1890 and is held in West Kensington every June in the run-up to Wimbledon that starts this year on 3rd July. The tournament attracts the world’s best male singles and doubles players, this year ten of the world’s top twenty players are competing. Along with Murray, tennis legends such as Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg and Pete Sampras have all lifted the iconic winner’s trophy.

In other tennis news, Judy Murray has been an awarded OBEs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Murray, who has worked to grow tennis across Great Britain, has been recognised for services to tennis, women in sport and charity.

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British number one Johanna Konta, 26 missed out on her first grass court title after she finished as runner-up in the Nottingham Open final after losing to Donna Vekic from Croatia 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 7-5.

Information and photos sourced from www.lta.org.uk and www.bbc.com/sport/tennis

 

Tennis Talk: Second Wimbledon Title For Murray

British number one Andy Murray thrilled tennis fans ensembled in SW19 and the millions watching on TV around the world when he picked up his second Wimbledon title on centre court yesterday. Murray, 27 beat Canadian Milos Raonic in three sets 6-4, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (7-2) to win his second Wimbledon title and his third Grand Slam.

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As the crowd went wild an emotional Murray wept into his towel as the result sank in and then vowed that he would enjoy this one more than his first title in 2013, even coach Ivan Lendl raised a rare smile from his position in the players box. Top seed and world number one Novak Djokovic made a surprise early exit from the tournament and Raonic defeated third seed Federer in the semi’s so it was left to a replay of the Queen’s club final to close out this year’s Wimbledon men’s singles event. On route to the final Murray beat fellow Brit Liam Broady in the first round 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 followed by a three set defeat of Yen-Hsun Lu in round two 6-3, 6-2, 6-1. Next up were two Australians opponents, John Millman and Nick Kyrgios whom he beat 6-3, 7-5, 6-2 and 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 respectively. His first real challenge of the tournament came against twelfth seed Jo-Wilfred Tsonga who took him to five sets with Murray forced to step up in the fifth set to secure the victory 7-6, 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1. His semi-final win against tenth seed Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 secured his place in the final.

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It was a great tournament for Team GB all round as along with Murray picking up the prestigious men’s singles title on final’s Sunday, Heather Watson won her first ever Grand Slam title in the Mixed Doubles with partner Henri Kontinven, Gordon Reid won the inaugural Men’s wheelchair singles event and Jordanne Whiley won her third consecutive Wimbledon women’s wheelchair doubles title.

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After a very disappointing loss in the first round of the women’s singles Watson became the first woman to win a Wimbledon doubles title since Jo Durie in 1987. She and Kontinven, who comes from Finland, beat Colombian Robert Farah and German Anna-Lena Gronefeld 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 in the final that followed Murray on Centre Court. Earlier that day Reid picked up his second Wimbledon title after he beat current Paralympic champion Stefan Olson from Sweden 6-1, 6-4 out on court seventeen which attracted a larger crowd worthy of a more prominent court. The previous day along with partner Alfie Hewett, Reid had won the men’s wheelchair doubles title. Top seeds Whiley and partner Yui Kamiji beat second seeds Jiske Griffioen and Aniek van Koot 6-2, 6-2 to win their title also out on court seventeen.

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In the women’s singles event top seed and defending champion Serena Williams won her seventh Wimbledon title with a straight-set victory over German Angelique Kerber 7-5, 6-3 which also gave her an impressive twenty second Grand Slam singles title. Williams then won her sixth women’s doubles title later that afternoon with sister Venus again on Centre Court. They won the match and claimed their 14th Grand Slam trophy by beating Timea Babos and Yaroslavl Shvedova 6-3, 6-4.

The men’s doubles was an all French affair as top seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut defeated fellow countrymen Julien Benneteau and Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-4, 7-6 (7-1), 6-3 to win the title.

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Photos used courtesy of www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/ and www.wimbledon.com/

Tennis Talk: Brits at Wimbledon Preview

Tennis fans are geared up for the world’s most prestigious grass court tournament as Wimbledon starts on Monday (27th June). British number and 2013 champion Andy Murray has been named as second seed in this year’s tournament behind World Number One and three time winner Novak Djokovic. Fresh from his Queen’s Club victory last Sunday where he beat two Brits in the run up to the final, Murray will face another Brit in his first round match in the men’s singles in the form of wildcard Liam Broady.

IMG_6258Fellow Brit and wildcard James Ward faces a tough opening match against defending champion Djokovic on centre court. Kyle Edmund, who Murray beat in the quarters at Queen’s will play Adrian Mandarin from France and Aljaz Bedene (who Murray also defeated at Queen’s) will play 2015 Wimbledon semi-finalist Richard Gasquet also from France in his opening match. Murray who is playing in the bottom half of the draw has a favourable run to the final if he progresses as expected, not facing either Djokovic or third seed and seven-time champion Roger Federer until the final. Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and Gasquet are the highest seeds in Murray’s part of the draw. Other Brits in the draw are Dan Evans who faces Jan Lennard Struff, Brydan Klein against Nicolas Mahut and Alex Ward who will meet eleventh seed David Goffin.

In the women’s singles, British number one and sixteenth seed Johanna Konta faces Monica Puig from Puerto Rica, while British number two Heather Watson starts her 2016 campaign against Annika Beck. Like Ward in the men’s event Laura Robson has a tricky first round match against current Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber. Robson did beat Kerber at Wimbledon in 2011 but has lost two matches against her since. Naomi Broady will play seventeenth seed Elina Svitolina, Katie Swan faces Timea Babos and Tara Moore is up against Alison van Uytvanck. Defending champion and top seed Serena Williams will open play against a so far unnamed qualifier.

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In other British tennis news Jamie Murray, 30 was awarded an OBE for his services to tennis and charity. Currently ranked second in the Emirates ATP Doubles Rankings and Australian Open champion with partner Bruno Soares, the duo have been ranked as third seeds in this year’s Wimbledon draw.

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Wimbledon 2016 runs from Monday 27th June until Sunday 10th July. For more information, live updates, scores and  results visit www.wimbledon.com 

For an A to Z Guide to Wimbledon click here

Photos used courtesy of www.bbc.com/sport/tennis and http://www.wimbledon.com

Tennis Talk: Aegon Championships Update

History is being made today at the Aegon Championships as Britain has three players through to the second round which hasn’t happened since 2005 when current British Number one Andy Murray, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski were all in the same position. Top seed and defending champion Andy Murray will face a British opponent after he defeated Nicolas Mahut 7-6, 7-6 in the first round. Murray last played against a British opponent when he lost to Henman in Bangkok back in 2006, ten years later he’s up against Aljaz Bedene at Queen’s Club this afternoon.

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Ranked 58th in the world and British number two, Bedene who was born in Slovakia gained UK citizenship last year. British number three Kyle Edmund starts play at Queen’s today against Paul-Henri Mathieu from France after his amazing first round win against eighth seed Gilles Simon also from France 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

Aegon Championships - Day Three

Follow all the action as it happenings at www.lta.org.uk

Photos used courtesy of www.lta.org.uk

 

Tennis Talk: Grass Court Season Underway

It’s officially grass court season in the tennis world with the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club tournament starting in London today. True to form rain interrupted the first day schedule but the intermittent showers didn’t stop Steve Johnson from the US defeating fourth seed Richard Gasket from France 7-6 (7-2), 6-2.

Aegon Championships Off Court

Fresh from his defeat in the French Open final British number one, top seed and defending champion Andy Murray will open his 2016 campaign against Nicolas Mahut (last year’s doubles winner with partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert) from France tomorrow. Murray who has just announced reforming his partnership with former coach Ivan Lendl is hoping to lift the Queen’s Club trophy for the fifth time this year. Teammate and British number four Dan Evans was scheduled to play against France’s Paul-Henri Mathieu today but will now play tomorrow weather permitting. World number two Stan Wawrinka is seeded second and will play his opening match against Fernando Verdasco.

Book Aegon Championships tickets as follows

Online – Box Office

Telephone – 0844 209 7356

In other news top seed Karolina Pliskova won the 2016 Aegon Open Nottingham Singles event and Shuai Peng and Andrea Hlavackova won the doubles title. Britain’s Tara Moore was beaten in quarter finals by  Saisai Zheng 6-2, 6-4. Zheng had previously beaten British number one Johanna Konta in the second round 6-4, 7-5

Photo of Queen’s Club used courtesy of www.lta.org.uk 

 

 

On the Road To Wimbledon

Totally Tennis performance player Liam Hignett spent all last week playing on the famous grass courts at Wimbledon in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon (RTW) 2014 Nationals held at The All England Club in SW19. On the opening day last Monday eighty-six box matches took place and history was made when four Indian junior tennis players competed in the national finals for the first time after winning their own national finals at the Road to Wimbledon in Delhi.

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Hignett played in Regional Group F where he had three matches. He lost to box winner and National number two in his age group Oscar Cutting 6-1, 6-1, runner-up and 20th nationally David Brehme 6-3, 6-2 and Zachary Phillips 7-5, 7-5. In the Regional Consolation event he lost in  round one against higher rated Callum Findlay in three sets 6-4, 4-6, 10-3. In the 14 and under Boys Doubles event Hignett and partner Timothy Goodman, who were seeded fourth, unfortunately lost in round one to Jake Norris/Pierce Widdecombe 4-0, 4-0.

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Despite the score lines and the intermittent weather that interrupted play, Hignett had a fantastic week and enjoyed himself and as well as his memories he has a souvenir hoody, water bottle, T-shirt to remember his experience and was also given a £30 Wimbledon shop voucher. On Wednesday night the competitors enjoyed the players party held in The Terrace restaurant on the east side of Centre Court with an Indian themed party with Indian cuisine and entertainment provided by Award Winning Celebrity Magician and Mind Reader, Robert Fox.

HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2014 - General View

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On the final morning Hignett attended the grass court clinic with former British number one Tim Henman, where he and  Head Coach Dan Bloxham put the junior competitors through their paces and inspired them with great games and advice. HSBC Ambassador Henman also gave the juniors an opportunity to ask him questions on tennis and he was happy to share his experiences with the next generation of young players.

HSBC Road to Wimbledon 2014Hignett with Henman

Donella Hignett, Liam’s mother said, “Although it was unfortunate that he didn’t win a match, Liam came close on a couple of occasions, with a 7-5, 7-5 loss in one of his box matches and a three-set 4-6, 6-4, 10-3 loss in the first round of the consolation.  It was a good experience, despite the weather!”

IMG_6593Hignett with younger sister Isla at Wimbledon

Head Coach James McIntosh said “It was such a fantastic opportunity and experience for Liam to play at Wimbledon and follow in the footsteps of other young Totally Tennis players. Competing in the Road to Wimbledon National Finals are a great way to inspire and motivate players. Well done Liam!”

Twenty thousand juniors from over seven hundred and fifty clubs and schools competed in the Road to Wimbledon event. The competition is held in three stages and encourages boys and girls of all standards to play and enjoy competitive tennis. The tournament is open to all boys and girls who are 14 & under during the year and have not reached the age of 15 that year.

Proof that the new international event was a great success came when 14-year-old Siddhant Banthia from Pune, India took the 2014 boys singles crown after defeating the top one seed from Middlesex, Maxine Trenakhin, 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-0. Last years semi-finalist Kent’s Nell Miller, 14 won the girls title defeating second seed Jodie Lawrence-Taylor from Surrey in straight sets 7-6(5), 6-4. In another fantastic result for India, Banthia and partner Adil Kalyanpur were crowned doubles champions and Miller with partner Emily Appleton defeated Indian girls duo Aarja Chakraborty and Shivani Ingle in straight sets to win the Girls Doubles title.

Tennis Talk: Grass Court Season Starts

The grass court season kicked off today with the Aegon Championships at The Queens Club in London. British players Dan Evans and James Ward, who were both wild cards, won their matches. British Number One and defending champion Andy Murray will start his campaign of defence in round two against Paul-Henri Mathieu on Wednesday, along with the other top eight seeds who all received first round byes.

ImageWild card Dan Evans won his first round match

Evans defeated Austria’s Jurgen Melzer 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-2) and Ward beat Blaz Rola from Slovenia 7-5, 6-4 to progress to round two on the opening day of the championships. There was disappointment for British number four Daniel Cox who lost 7-5, 6-2 against Adrian Mannarino from France.

ImageJames Ward won his first round match (source:www1.skysports.com)

Murray who announced Amelie Mauresmo (read news here) as his new coach yesterday has won the Queen’s tournament three times previously and was in action today on the practice courts in preparation for Wednesday’s match.

article-2650607-1CF0802000000578-253_634x458Last years champion Andy Murray with tournament director and friend Ross Hutchins (source:www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/)

The finals day of the tournament will also feature the ‘Rally For Bally’ doubles exhibition match (read more here) with Murray, defending Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli, tournament director Ross Hutchins plus yet to be announced female player teaming up to entertain the crowd whilst fundraising in memory of former British number one Elena Baltacha, who died of liver cancer on 4th May this year.

IMG_5340Donate to ‘Rally For Bally’ – www.justgiving.com/rallyforbally

The Aegon Classic Women’s event also started today in Edgbaston, Birmingham where the only British player in the draw nineteen-year-old Katy Dunne was forced to retire due to injury.

2014-aegon-classic-outside-courts-GV-620x300-gettyThe Aegon Classic started today in Edgbston, Birmingam (source:www.lta.org.uk)