Queen's Club Tennis 2014: Schedule and Preview for AEGON Championships

James DudkoFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2014

Andy Murray of Britain plays a return to Marin Cilic of Croatia during their Queen's Club grass court championships single final tennis match in London, Sunday, June 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press

The 2014 AEGON Championships at London's Queen's Club will see some prominent contenders taking part. The annual pre-Wimbledon tune-up has been buoyed by the presence of current Wimbledon champion Andy Murray. He is joined by reigning Australian Open winner Stanislas Wawrinka.

The pair headline a solid group of players appearing at the Queen's Club, also featuring Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Lleyton Hewitt.

The schedule is notoriously loose at the Queen's club. The order of play is usually posted the night before. Here is the initial order of play for Monday, June 9:

Order Of Play AEGON Championships Monday, June 9
CourtPlayer and CountryPlayer and CountryTime
CentreJames Ward, Great BritainBlaz Rola, Slovenia12:30 p.m.
CentreJurgen Melzer, AustriaDaniel Evans, Great Britain12:30 p.m.
CentreLleyton Hewitt, AustraliaDaniel Gimeno-Traver, Spain12:30 p.m.
CentreDusan Lajovic, SerbiaFeliciano Lopez, Spain12:30 p.m.
CentreGrigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria and Stanislas Wawrinka, SwitzerlandKen Skupski and Neal Skupski, Great Britain12:30 p.m.
1Tim Smyczek, U.S.A.Bernard Tomic, Australia12:30 p.m.
1Sam Querrey, U.S.A.Jeremy Chardy, France12:30 p.m.
1Adrian Mannarino, FranceDaniel Cox, Great Britain12:30 p.m.
1Marin Cilic, Croatia and Andre Sa, BrazilNicholas Monroe, U.S.A and Vasek Pospisil, Canada12:30 p.m.
2Dudi Sela, IsraelJames Duckworth, Australia12:30 p.m.
2Michael Russell, U.S.ADenis Kudla, U.S.A.12:30 p.m.
2Kenny De Schepper, FranceSomdev Devvarman, India12:30 p.m.
9Paul-Henri Mathieu, FranceAljaz Bedene, Slovenia12:30 p.m.
9Matthew Ebden, Australia and Mariusz Fyrstenberg, PolandKevin Anderson, Russia and Jonathan Erlich, Israel12:30 p.m.
9Marsel Ilhan, TurkeyNicolas Mahut, France12:30 p.m.
9Sergiy StakhovksyDaniel Brands, Germany12:30 p.m.


Tournament Preview

If you were to make a prediction about exactly how the action will unfold at the Queen's Club, it would be smart to guess Murray saunters to a victory.

He bested the competition last year, en route to a rare AEGON-Wimbledon double. Given his recent struggles in big matches, Murray will be keen to send a late, pre-Wimbledon reminder that he is still the player to beat.

The Scotsman's recent struggles involve a semi-final annihilation at the French Open, courtesy of Rafael Nadal. Playing on his favoured clay surface, Nadal dropped a mere six games to Murray over three sets.

According to Sports Illustrated's Beyond The Baseline, Murray looked physically fatigued at Roland Garros, per Courtney Nguyen:

Nadal dominated every aspect of this match, but especially his service games. The world No. 1 won 49 of his 59 serving points, losing only four of his first-serve points, and he never faced a break point. The Spaniard won 83 total points to Murray’s 43, which is pretty incredible in a sport where the loser can actually win more points than the winner.

There was no doubt that Murray was drained after his last three matches — two of which went to five sets. Nadal has only dropped one set in the entire tournament, to David Ferrer in the quarterfinals.

Murray won't have enjoyed being such easy prey for Nadal and will relish proving his worth back on grass. Murray is no baseliner, or even a thunderous server, but his exceptional all-round game will be too much for the competition at the Queen's Club.

Murray's main competition will likely come from another player who had a French Open to forget. World No. 3 Wawrinka was dispatched from Roland Garros in Round 1 by 41st-ranked Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Stanislas Wawrinka was left a dejected figure at Roland Garros.
Stanislas Wawrinka was left a dejected figure at Roland Garros.Michel Euler/Associated Press

BBC Sport reporter Piers Newbery dubbed Wawrinka's performance "wayward," as he noted: "He looked anything but a reigning Grand Slam champion on Court Philippe Chatrier, however, and appeared uncomfortable from the early stages after play did not get under way until approaching 6pm local time."

As a more natural serve-and-volley specialist, Wawrinka will feel more comfortable on the grass surface at the Queen's Club. Expect him to make it to the final but ultimately be outlasted by Murray.

The AEGON Championships have lost some of their lustre in recent years but remain an invaluable curtain-raiser ahead of Wimbledon.

For Murray and Wawrinka, their matches at the Queen's Club will be about more than just sharpening skills. The pair will have to prove their confidence is up ahead of the major event later this month.