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.
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.
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