Queen’s 2019: Tough openers across the board for Britons Edmund, Evans, Norrie – and Andy Murray
British players will face some of the top players in the draw in the Fever-Tree Championships
British players will face some of the top players in the draw in the Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club when play gets under way on Monday.
In his first match since undergoing hip surgery at the start of the year, Andy Murray and his partner Feliciano Lopez drew top-seeded Colombian duo Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah in the doubles draw.
British No1 Kyle Edmund will face tournament top seed, Stefanos Tsitsipas, in singles. The young Greek star, who reached the Australian Open semi-finals this year, is making his debut at Queen’s, and will be the top seed at an ATP500 event for the first time in his career.
In the bottom half of the draw, last year’s Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson is returning to action having not played a match since the Miami Open in March because of injury. He will open his campaign against British No2 Cam Norrie.
Elsewhere, Jay Clarke faces Lucas Pouille in his first match, whilst recent Surbiton Trophy champion Dan Evans drew Stan Wawrinka in the opening round. Switzerland’s three-time Grand Slam champion owns a 2-0 head-to-head record over Evans, including a five-set thriller in the third round of the 2016 US Open and a three-setter in Indian Wells earlier this year.
The 2014 Queen’s champion Grigor Dimitrov meets Stuttgart finalist Felix Auger-Aliassime, and 2009 US Open Champion Juan Martin del Potro takes on Next Gen star Denis Shapovalov. Defending champion Marin Cilic will begin his title defence against Cristian Garin, who has already won two ATP titles in 2019.
Main draw action begins on Monday 17 June, but the qualifying draw got underway on Saturday. Court 1 was headlined by two British wild cards—Jack Draper and James Ward.
Draper, who reached the Boys’ Singles Final at Wimbledon last year, lost a rollercoaster match to Kazakh Alexander Bublik. After dropping the first set 6-2, Draper broke in consecutive games at the end of the second set to push the match to a decider. Despite falling behind by a double break early in the third set, Draper got the match back on serve at 3-4 before eventually losing 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.
Ward moved to within one match of the main draw with a solid 6-1, 6-4 victory against Prajnesh Gunneswaran, and now faces Ivo Karlovic.
Sunday’s final round of qualifying is due to start at 11am, with free entry for 800 people at a time. The gates open at 10.30am.
Limited main draw tickets remain: http://po.st/QueensTickets2019
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BIOGRAPHY: Ryan Carter
BIOGRAPHY: Ethan Hazard