ATP Queens Club: Aegon Championships preview

With the Aegon Championships underway, players will be hoping to gain fitness and form ahead of the biggest Grand Slam of the year in Wimbledon.

ATP Queens Club: Aegon Championships preview
Defending championAndy Murray and Stan Wawrinka look ahead to the Aegon Championships (Photo: Getty Images)

With the Grass Court season well and truly underway, the next stop on the tour is the Aegon Championships in London. The field is led by five-time winner Andy Murray. 

The ATP 500 event boasts one of its strongest lineups in recent years, with all eight seeded players being ranked inside the world's top 20. A few absentees include ten-time Roland Garros champion, Rafael Nadal, and Juan Martin del Potro, who in recent years have opted to play the prestigious event ahead of Wimbledon

David Goffin, who rolled his ankle during his fourth round match at the French Open will miss the tournament as well as Wimbledon. Argentine Diego Schwartzman also withdrew due to injury allowing Kyle Edmund to enter the field. And the recent withdrawal saw Jack Sock pull out as the eighth seed allowing Nick Kyrgios to be seeded. 

First Quarter

World number one and five-time Queens Club champion Andy Murray headlines the packed draw and will come in with a lot of pressure. The Brit has failed to live up to his stellar 2016. At the Australian Open, he fell to Mischa Zverev having made the final previous year. 

Despite winning a title in Dubai, Murray then had early exits in Indian Wells and Miami before another early loss in Monte-Carlo. The 30-year-old struggled on clay with two early exits and two semifinal showings. Murray has always favored the Grass which brings out the best in his game. 

The world number one has been drawn to play Aljaz Bedene, who lost to Muller in a tight three-set match in s-Hertogenbosch. The winner of that clash will face either wildcard Brit Cameron Norrie or Sam Querrey, a former champion in 2010 and a capable grass court player.

Also in this section is Nikoloz Basilashvili who faces  Gilles Muller, who is having a season to remember with a career high ranking and a maiden title earlier this year. The Luxembourg serves and game suits the grass court and can cause damage. The winner faces a guaranteed Frenchman in Adrian Mannarino or fifth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Quarterfinal: Andy Murray-Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Semifinalist: Andy Murray

Andy Murray plays a return (Photo: Anadolu Agency)
Andy Murray plays a return (Photo: Anadolu Agency)

Second Quarter

Headlining this second section is the fourth-seeded Marin Cilic. The 28-year-old Croatian has great memories returning to Queens as he won the title in 2012. He has been given one of the toughest starts here as he faces John Isner in a popcorn of a first round match. 

The American's big serves compliment the grass more than it did the clay and will less likely to be exposed. The American has a poor showing this season having reached only the one semifinal with early losses scattered across. 

The winner will face Steve Johnson or a lucky loser. The American in recent years has endured success on this surface as he won his first title in Nottingham last year as well as making the second week at Wimbledon. 

A Serbian is guaranteed to be in the second round with Viktor Troicki facing off against Janko Tipsarevic. The winner will go up against Donald Young or Nick Kyrgios, the fiery 21-year-old who relishes the grass court season. 

Quarterfinal: John Isner-Nick Kyrgios

Semifinalist: Nick Kyrgios

Nick Kyrgios strikes a forehand (Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios strikes a forehand (Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Third Quarter

Sixth-seeded Grigor Dimitrov headlines this third quarter. The Bulgarian had a breakthrough season in 2014 but has failed to live up to that season until this year, where he has so far captured three titles. He begins his campaign against American Ryan Harrison, who is having a rejuvenated season himself with a career high of 41.

The winner will face either a qualifier or James Ward. The Brit is ranked outside the top 1000 and is playing only his second tournament since September of last year. 

21-year-old Daniil Medvedev faces the experienced Nicolas Mahut with four titles to his name. Three of them at the Ricoh Open in s-Hertogenbosch and the other coming at the Hall of Fame Championships in America. 

The winner will face 21-year-old injury prone Thanasi Kokkinakis or the ever-dangerous Milos Raonic, who will be hoping to recreate his grass court run that saw him make the Wimbledon final. 

Quarterfinal: Grigor Dimitrov-Milos Raonic

Semifinalist: Milos Raonic

Milos Raonic during the final (Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Milos Raonic during the final (Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)

Fourth Quarter

Kyle Edmund has been given a kind opening round match as he faces a qualifier. The Brit has established himself inside the world's top 50 with some good results up to now and will be hoping to take advantage of a home crowd to go far in this tough draw.

The seventh-seeded Czech-born Tomas Berdych headlines this first quarter and has struggled with form this year, having dropped out of the world's ten due to a result but can be dangerous on this surface. He begins against Belgium's Steve Darcis and could face the Brit if he is to win. 

A qualifier is guaranteed to make the second round, with both being drawn to face each other in the opening round. However, the winner will be given a tough task.

Spaniard and 2014 runner-up Feliciano Lopez faces Stan Wawrinka in the opening round. The Swiss usually delivers on all surfaces but has never quite been able to perform on Grass and should he get past Lopez, expect him to get far. 

Quarterfinal: Kyle Edmund-Stan Wawrinka

Semifinalist: Stan Wawrinka

Stan Wawrinka hits a forehand shot (Photo: Ashley Western/Getty Images)
Stan Wawrinka hits a forehand shot (Photo: Ashley Western/Getty Images)

Semifinals: Andy Murray def. Nick Kyrgios, Stan Wawrinka def. Milos Raonic

Final: Andy Murray def. Stan Wawrinka 

Tennis