Andy Murray could become the first British man in almost a century to defend the Queen’s club title after the Scottish holder confirmed his presence in the field for the Wimbledon warm-up next month.
With a home title at Wimbledon a distant memory from 1936 and Fred Perry, Queen’s is an even bigger ask. The last Briton to back up the title in West London: F.G Lowe in 1914.
“If I play my best I’ve got a chance of successfully defending the title and doing well at Wimbledon,” said Murray.
“I know it won’t be easy, there is a strong field. It’s a great time of the year though and I’m really looking forward to it.” Number four Murray is part of seven of the ATP top-10 committed to the June 7 start.
Officials say they have lined up the strongest field in the event’s history: Novak Djokovic (number two), Rafael Nadal (three), Murray, Juan Del Potro (five), Andy Roddick (seven), Fernando Verdasco (nine) and Jo Wilfried Tsonga (ten). In addition, number 11 Croatian Marin Cilic is included.
Murray has already written a footnote for the British game, becoming the first from the nation since Henry ‘Bunny’ Austin in 1938 to win the home title.
Murray won the 2009 event without the loss of a set as he beat James Blake in the final. “Last year I played some really good tennis to win the tournament,” he said.
Also included in the Queen’s field are Frenchman Gael Monfils, American Sam Querrey and fellow big-server Ivo Karlovic.