The annual build-up to Wimbledon begins on Monday when 32 stars of the ATP Tour head to London for the cinch Championships at Queens, an ATP 500 event which has an illustrious list of winners throughout the years.
Matteo Berrettini added his name to that list of champions when he claimed the title 12 months ago and he returns to defend the title on what is expected to be a great week of tennis in scorching heat as a heatwave runs through the capital of England.
2021 – Matteo Berrettini
2019 – Feliciano Lopez
2018 – Marin Cilic
2017 – Feliciano Lopez
2016 – Andy Murray
2015 – Andy Murray
2014 – Grigor Dimitrov
2013 – Andy Murray
2012 – Marin Cilic
2011 – Andy Murray
This is a typical ATP 500 event with 32 runners which have all been placed into the draw bracket. The tournament is a straight knockout from the first round on the opening day on Monday with every match being the best of three sets. Should the final set go to 6-6 a normal tiebreak will decide the match rather than at Wimbledon where the set will go to a first to 10 breaker. The champion will be determined on Sunday 19 June.
Casper Ruud is the highest ranked player in the field this week and he is the number one seed as a result. That means he is in the top half of the draw. The French Open finalist makes his debut at Queens this week and is in a half with four other seeds. They are the Indian Wells winner Taylor Fritz, Diego Schwartzman and a man who has won the title here on two previous occasions in the form of Marin Cilic. Another former champion here is in this half of the draw in Sam Querrey while the exciting Jenson Brooksby is in this section too. Three British wildcards have the chance to shine in this part of the draw too in the form of Ryan Peniston, Jack Draper and Liam Broady.
The defending champion Matteo Berrettini is the second seed this week and as a result of that he is the highest seed in the bottom half of the draw. He will look to defend the title from a half which has the man he beat in the final last year, Cameron Norrie, Denis Shapovalov and Reilly Opelka. The former champion Andy Murray is also scheduled to be in this half of the draw although his participation is in doubt. Dan Evans won in Nottingham on Sunday and he’s in this half as well as is another former winner in Grigor Dimitrov. Stan Wawrinka and Alex de Minaur are two others who will be looking to do the business this week.
OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH 888SPORT AND BET £10 TO GET £30 IN FREE BETS PLUS A £10 CASINO BONUS! PERFECT OFFER TO USE ON THIS TOURNAMENT! CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO JOIN. USE CODE 30F. NEW ACCOUNTS ONLY. 18+ T&Cs apply (See image for significant terms). Gamble Aware.
I’ll go with a couple of Brits to have big weeks at Queens with the first one being the man who was a set away from winning the title last year in Cameron Norrie. Norrie has a tricky opener against Grigor Dimitrov but the draw opens right out if he can come through that. He is in the half of the draw that is occupied by Matteo Berrettini but you have to wonder what is in the tank of the Italian after he won the title on his return to the tour in Stuttgart last week. The other player of note in the bottom half is Andy Murray but the noise is getting louder that he won’t be lining up. Norrie might not have had the 2022 he had in comparison to 2021 but it isn’t exactly shabby and that leftie serve of his could be really awkward in what are likely to be firm and fast conditions. I think at 14/1 Norrie merits plenty of support this week, something he won’t lack from the home crowds.
I’ll also take a chance of Jack Draper in the top half of the draw. Admittedly he has to overcome the favourite Marin Cilic in the quarter final should both get that far but if he can do that there doesn’t look to be too many natural grass court players in his half of the draw. Casper Ruud is on debut here while Diego Schwartzman doesn’t get on with this surface. Draper doesn’t have the easiest draw but he’s won five Challenger events this season and forced Andrey Rublev to a tight third set on clay in Madrid recently. He is another with a wicked leftie serve which in these conditions will keep him in matches. He might be overpriced at 50/1 particularly if his draw opens up.
Back C.Norrie to win cinch Championships (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 15.00 with Boylesports (1/2 1-2)
Back him here:
Back J.Draper to win cinch Championships (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 51.00 with BetVictor (1/2 1-2)
Back him here: