We give you the lowdown on the Wimbledon warm-up event, the Fever-Tree Championship at the Queen’s Club.
Let’s get the name right
Officially it is known as the Queen’s Club Championship, but of course the sponsors need to get some credit and from 1979 until 2008 it went by the name Stella Artois Championships. Aegon took over in 2009 and it was renamed Aegon Championships.
However, Fever-Tree is now the official sponsor and of course it will be known as the Fever-Tree Championships over the next few years.
In case you were wondering, “Fever-Tree Indian Tonic Water launched in the UK in early 2005, the brand name chosen due to fever tree being the colloquial name for the cinchona tree in which quinine, a key ingredient for tonic, is found”.
About the venue
Queen’s Club in West Kensington, London, is named after Queen Victory and it was established in 1886. It was the first multi-purpose sports complex ever to be built anywhere in the world.
Besides tennis, it also holds the World Rackets Championships and has in the past held ice-skating, baseball, athletics and rugby.
Nearly 6,500 spectators, 6,479 to be exact, can fit into Centre Court. The year 2003 was a good one for total attendance as a record 52,553 attended the event.
Part of tennis history
The Queen’s Club event is one of the longest-running grass-court tennis tournaments as it was first held in 1884 as the London Grass Court Championship at the London Athletic Club.
It switched to Queen’s Club in 1890 and they introduced a women’s singles event as well. Men’s doubles was added in 1903 and two years later mixed doubles were also introduced. The women’s doubles programme was only added in 1915.
The women’s events were discontinued in 1973 and American legend Chris Evert claimed the last-ever women’s title that year.
The men’s tournament was upgraded from an ATP World Tour 250 event to an ATP World Tour 500 tournament in 2015.
The roll of honour
Great Britain’s Harry S. Barlow was the inaugural men’s singles winner in 1890 and he ended up winning it three times while May Jacks won the women’s event.
Feliciano Lopez is the reigning men’s champion as he beat Marin Cilic in three sets in last year’s final.
Andy Murray hosts the record for the most singles wins with five trophies with his first coming in 2009 and his last in 2016.
Seven players have won the title four times with John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick among them.
The other Murray, Jamie, is the reigning men’s doubles champion along with Bruno Soares from Brazil.
The Bryan Brothers, Bob and Mike, have won the men’s doubles five times.
The United States has produced the most men’s singles champions with 33, but they are only two ahead of Great Britain while Australia is down in third with 26.
As mentioned already, Andy Murray has the most singles titles with five.
Boris Becker is the youngest winner as he was 17 years and 207 days when he won it in 1985 and he went on to win Wimbledon a couple of weeks later.
Major Ritchie is the oldest champion as he was 38 years old when he collected his fourth trophy in 1909.
Pete Sampras and Mark Philippoussis are the only two players to win the singles and doubles in the same year as Sampras also teamed up with Todd Martin in 1995 to win the doubles while Philippoussis partnered Pat Rafter in 1997.
Wimbledon form guide
Other notable names who have won the Queen’s-Wimbledon double in the same year besides Becker include, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pete Sampras, Lleyton Hewitt, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray.
Roger Federer absence
The 20-time Grand Slam winner has played at Queen’s only once, back in 1999, and he lost 6-3, 6-0 against Byron Black in the first round.
He is unlikely to play at Queen’s any time soon as he apparently has a lifetime contract with Halle in Germany.
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