The Queen’s Club is an annual tournament of Tennis, which was established in 1886, one of the first multi-sport clubs to be founded in Britain. In 1890 the tournament moved to its current location, the Queen’s Club. Between 1970 and 1989 it was part of the Grand Prix tennis circuit. The event is now an ATP World Tour 250 series tournament on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour. From 1979 until 2008, the tournament was sponsored by Stella Artois, and thus called the Stella Artois Championships. In 2009 the tournament was renamed as the AEGON Championships following a comprehensive sponsorship deal between Lawn Tennis Association and AEGON.
The AEGON Championships is under way at the historic Queen’s Club in London from 11-17 June 2012. The tournament also marks the start of the grass-court season for many of the world’s top players from the men’s game. It’s one of the world’s premier tennis events, considered by many to be one of the world’s top 10 events. Over the years, a good performance at Queen’s has led to success at Wimbledon, with 25 of the last 27 Wimbledon champions having played at the Championships a week before. Connors, Lendl, Edberg and Sampras are among the legends that have proudly lifted the iconic silver Championships trophy. 2011 attracted another strong field including Rafael Nadal, Jo Wilfred Tsonga, three-time winner Andy Roddick and Andy Murray.
Outside Wimbledon, this is the grass-court tournament with the largest draw size. In addition, it enjoys full coverage on the BBC in the UK, and was shown in High Definition for the first time in 2009. Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt have dominated the tournament in recent times, each winning four titles. Four titles are the most anyone has won at Queen’s with famous names such as Emerson and McEnroe added to Hewitt and Roddick. Andy Roddick has called the courts at the Queen’s Club “arguably the best in the world”. There have been six different players to complete the Queen’s Club-Wimbledon title double in the same year, including John McEnroe (81, 84), Jimmy Connors (82), Boris Becker (85), Pete Sampras (95, 99), Lleyton Hewitt (2002) and Rafael Nadal (2008). In 2011, Andy Murray became the first two-time British champion since Francis Gordon Lowe (1913-14, ’25).
Four-time champion Lleyton Hewitt , the former World No. 1, who took the tennis world by storm in a blaze of blonde locks and backward caps, triumphed four times here at The Queen’s Club during his purplest patch of form, going on to win The Championships at Wimbledon in 2002. Former world No.1 players Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt will team up in doubles this week at the AEGON Championships. This will be the first time the two will play doubles together in an ATP event, and each will also be competing in singles.
Both players hope to compete in quality grass court matches before Wimbledon. In the past decade, Roddick and Hewitt have dominated the AEGON Championships in singles, winning a combined eight titles from 2000-07 (four each). Both players have enjoyed some of their best wins on grass, including Hewitt’s Wimbledon title in 2002. Each player has been on the ATP Tour for 10-plus years, and their unexpected partnership after years of rivalry should breathe new interest into their lengthy careers.