Murray mounting challenge to defend Queens’ honour
Following an exciting climax to the French Open, the annual curtain-raiser for Wimbledon is just around the corner. The Aegon Championships, otherwise known as the Queen’s Club tournament will welcome back last year’s victor Andy Murray, along with a host of others, all with a great chance of winning.
The Scot, who reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros, goes into the event armed with new coach Amelie Mauresmo, and priced as the favourite at 15/8.
Murray has won the Queens club championships three times, and will go into this years’ contest with fond memories.
“I always enjoy coming back here,” said Murray, having first claimed victory on the ATP World Tour at Queen’s in 2005.
“It’s great preparation coming up to Wimbledon and they have a fantastic field again this year.
“I’ve had some great years here and some years haven’t gone so well, but last year everything worked out perfectly. It was the start of the best summer of my tennis career. I’m excited to get going.”
Murray could face Australia’s 21-year-old Bernard Tomic or Czech Republic’s Radek Stepanek, 35 in the third round, though will first need to see off either Frenchman Paul-Henri Mathieu, or Slovenia’s Aljaz Bedene in the second.
Last year’s champion has a bye for the first round, which should give him more time to recover from the crushing 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 straight sets defeat against Rafa Nadal in Paris, who went on to beat Novak Djokovic in four sets in the final.
Murray’s half of the draw also features Tomas Berdych, priced at 6/1 and also Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 8/1.
Reflecting on the French Open, the defending Queens and Wimbledon champion was upbeat about his performance.
“Clay is the surface I had the most problem with on my back, but the grass is fairly straightforward, even when I was having problems.
“That’s a positive, that I know my back is going to be fine for the next few weeks. I thought I did a fairly good job in Paris of recovering from the five-setters.
“I would like to play Rafa on the grass for sure, that would mean going deep into the tournament. I would like to play him soon,’ said Murray, who knows it would contrast with Friday.
“It’s completely different because it is impossible for the ball to bounce that high. It is also easier to get free points on your serve and grass favours the person who hits the flatter ball. I’m going to be seeded in the top four now so it would mean getting to the semi or final.”