After all the drama of Roland Garros, the main part of the clay season is over, and we now move on to my personal favourite time of the year; The grass season.
Once again I’ve decided to put together a preview of the Aegon Championships, a tournament which had been upgraded to a 500 event, and one in which I’d be attending for the third straight year on the opening day of the event.
As mentioned above, the Aegon Championships has been upgraded to a 500 event, meaning an increase in ranking points available. The upgrade also means that the top seeds in the draw will not receive a bye into the second round, and will have to play a Round 1 match. This year’s line-up features 6 previous Queens Club Champions, with Lleyton Hewitt playing at the club for the last time. 2008 Champion Rafael Nadal returns in a star-studded line-up, that has 5 of the top 10 players in the world playing.
Below are the 16 seeded players in the draw:
1 – Andy Murray
2 – Stan Wawrinka
3 – Milos Raonic
4 – Marin Cilic
5 – Rafael Nadal
6 – Grigor Dimitrov
7 – Gilles Simon
8 – Feliciano Lopez
The draw took place on Saturday afternoon and delivered some interesting first-round match-ups, as well as some brilliant possibilities.
Possible QF’s (If draw goes with seedings)
Murray (1) V Dimitrov (6)
Cilic (4) V Lopez (8)
Raonic (3) V Simon (7)
Wawrinka (2) V Nadal (5)
Murray (1) V Cilic (4)
Raonic (3) V Wawrinka (2)
Obviously alot of tennis has to be played before the QF’s and SF’s are set but above is what the latter round would look like if the draw played out according to seedings.
The first quarter creates a possible rematch of the 2014 Wimbledon quarter-final between Britain’s Andy Murray and current defending Champion Grigor Dimitrov, with both seeded to meet in the Quarter-final stage. Murray would be the easier pleased of the pair, with a qualifier first up, before a meeting against the winner of the all-Spanish clash; Roberto Bautista-Agut and Fernando Verdasco. 6th seeded Dimitrov faces another previous champion, with 2010 winner Sam Querrey due to be his first round opponent, before the possibility of facing the big-serving Gilles Muller. Muller faces Mikhail Youzhny first up.
Current US Open champion Marin Cilic is the big name in the second quarter, and should be pleased with his projected draw. The Croatian opens up against Adrian Mannarino first up, before a possible meeting with Viktor Troicki or a qualifier in the second round. His projected Quarter-final opponent is last year’s Runner-Up Feliciano Lopez, but John Isner is another player confident on the grass. Lopez is drawn to play Joao Sousa in his opener, with the Portuguese man always a danger on the faster green stuff. Isner faces a qualifier in the opening round.
The third quarter is the only section of the draw that does not contain a previous Queens Champion, with Brit James Ward, a surprise semi-finalist in 2011, the nearest to lifting the iconic trophy. Third-seeded Milos Raonic is projected as the most capable player to win the title this year, and opens up against Ward in one of the ties of the opening rounds. Mercurial Frenchman Richard Gasquet is likely to face the winner, with a qualifier his favourable first round opponent. Young Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis is also contained within this section, and should be confident of pulling off an upset against Jeremy Chardy. 7th seeded Gilles Simon, and Belgian David Goffin finish off the players in the third quarter, and both shouldn’t be counted out of reaching the latter rounds.
The final quarter serves up undoubtedly the tie of the first round, with recent French Open winner Stan Wawrinka up against the rising Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios stunned Nadal in last year’s Wimbledon, and pulled off a thrilling upset against Roger Federer in Madrid this year. If he’s fully fit and healthy, Kyrgios is fully capable of pulling off yet another top scalp.
4-time Queens Champion Lleyton Hewitt could face the winner of the tie in the next round, but he’ll have to get past tall Kevin Anderson, before thinking any further. Hewitt is featuring for one final time on the grass here, and will want to go out on a high, but will definitely have his work cut out against South African Anderson. 2008 winner Nadal has been given a kind draw here, should he get past the often erratic Alexandr Dolgopolov. Rafa’s second round opponent would be either Pablo Andujar or Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, two Spaniards who are not at home on the grass.
To view the full draw, go to:
Monday’s Order of play
Monday’s order of play has been announced and this is particularly interesting for me as I’ve been lucky enough to be able to purchase tickets for play on Monday, as mentioned above. This year me and a mate have decided to purchase Court One tickets, as we spent alot of the day watching players on the practice courts last year.
Below is the schedule:
ALL 12:30pm starts (Local time)
Fernando Verdasco – Roberto Bautista-Agut
Kevin Anderson – Lleyton Hewitt
James Ward – Milos Raonic (3)
Sam Querrey – Grigor Dimitrov (6)
Pablo Andujar – Guillermo Garcia-Lopez
Richard Gasquet – Simone Bolelli
Kevin Anderson/Jeremy Chardy – Chris Guccione/Andre Sa
Feliciano Lopez/Max Mirnyi – Jamie Murray/John Peers
I hope you enjoy the start of the grass season, look out for my review of my day at Queens in the next few days.
Thanks for taking the time to read my analysis of the 2015 Aegon Championships at Queens Club, I hoped you enjoyed it. Agree with what I said? Why not offer your opinion below by commenting!
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(All photos included are of my own)