Preview 2024 ATP Queen's Club Championships: Alcaraz defends crown with Rune, Shelton and Fritz among the contenders

Monday, 17 June 2024 at 09:26
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The 2024 Queen’s Club Championships will take place from June 17 to 23, featuring defending champion Carlos Alcaraz as the main favorite. The Spaniard returns to London with a 12-match winning streak on grass. The tournament boasts a prize pool of over 2.2 million euros.
It won't be an easy road for the world No. 2, who will have a star-studded draw, including Alex De Minaur (No. 7), Grigor Dimitrov (No. 10), Taylor Fritz (No. 12), Tommy Paul (No. 13), Ben Shelton (No. 14) and Holger Rune (No. 15). The grass swing started with titles for Jack Draper at the Stuttgart Open and De Minaur at the Libema Open, both ATP 250s who travelled to Queen's for the tournament.

Top Half - Tough start for Alcaraz

Alcaraz will make his debut against Francisco Cerundolo (No. 27), the Argentinian has alternated good performances on Tour and recently had Novak Djokovic on the ropes in the fourth round of the French Open. Cerundolo has already proven to be a player who is well suited to grass, with the 2023 Eastbourne Open title, defeating Tommy Paul in the final.
In the second round he could face recent Stuttgart champion Jack Draper (No. 31), who will start against another Argentine: Mariano Navone (No. 29). The European will be the big favourite against an opponent who has no previous grass-court encounters.
Tommy Paul, the 5th seed, is another top contender on this side of the draw, starting against clay-specialist Sebastian Baez (No. 19). Paul could then face either Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (No. 33) or Chilean Alejandro Tabilo (No. 24), who has minimal grass experience with just one win and four losses on the surface.
Carlos Alcaraz in 2024 Roland Garros.
Third seed Grigor Dimitrov (No. 10) leads the second half of the top-half. The Bulgarian has found great consistency in 2024, with the Brisbane International title and finals at Open 13 Provence and Miami Open, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the French Open. Dimitrov was already champion at Queen's in 2014 in his last ATP 250 event.
The Bulgarian makes his debut against grass-specialist Adrian Mannarino (No. 21), who reached the quarter-finals a year ago and has two titles and three other grass-court finals to his name. Should he advance, he could cross paths with recent Libema Open finalist Sebastian Korda (No. 23). The American lost to De Minaur and makes his Queen's debut against the always tricky Karen Khachanov (No. 22). On the same side of the draw is 8th seed Ugo Humbert (No. 16).

Bottom Half - De Minaur looks to keep the streak going

The top seed in the second half of the draw will be recent Libema Open champion Alex De Minaur. The Australian reached his highest ranking as world No. 7 and will make his debut against Lorenzo Musetti (No. 30), who performed well on the Stuttart grass last week but was overwhelmed by Matteo Berrettini in the semi-finals.
Wildcard Dan Evans (No. 59) and the 6th seed Ben Shelton (No. 14) are quickly in the Aussie's path. The Brit faces Brandon Nakashima (No. 63), while Shelton will be challenged by qualifier Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard (No. 67).
The other top contenders in the bottom half are 4th seed Taylor Fritz (No. 12) and the 7th seed Holger Rune (No. 15). Both decided to take a week off before the grass swing and will debut against Taro Daniel (No. 85) and Jordan Thompson (No. 43) respectively.
Alex De Minaur at 2024 Rotterdam Open.

5-times champion Andy Murray back at Queen's

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Murray in his last appearance at Queen's a year ago. After a run of 10 straight wins and two Challenger grass-court titles, Murray came into the tournament in confident mood, but was dealt a tough first-round 3-6, 1-6 defeat by eventual runner-up De Minaur.
The former world No. 1 missed 2022 through injury and his last win came in 2021, when he beat Benoit Paire in the first round, but then lost to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini in the second round. Murray will be part of the draw, this time thanks to a wild card and as world No. 95. He will make his debut against qualifier Alexei Popyrin (No. 48) and if he get a win, Holger Rune is on the horizon.
Another veteran who will be at the tournament is Milos Raonic (No. 186). The historic Canadian player used his protected ranking and will face local Cameron Norrie (No. 39) in the opener. The winner will face Taylor Fritz or Taro Daniel.

Top singles players take a place in doubles draw

The 2-times Wimbledon champion Murray will also make an appearance in the doubles draw alongside compatriot Dan Evans, in preparation for their upcoming Olympic Games appearance. The home duo will face specialist 4th seeds Ivan Dodig and Austin Krajicek.
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Murray playing in 2023 Wimbledon.
They are not the only ones thinking about the Olympics. Argentinians Francisco Cerndolo and Tomas Martin Etcheverry will also have a partnership that could see them again at Paris 2024. They were entered in the French Open doubles draw, but withdrew before the start of the tournament, but this time at Queen's they will finally team up against Taylor Fritz and Karen Khachanov.
Libemaa Open singles finalists Alex De Minaur and Sebastian Korda agreed a partnership to add more matches on grass in a bid to improve their adaptation to the surface with Wimbledon just a couple of weeks away. Ben Shelton with Ugo Humbert, Cam Norrie with Jack Draper, Baez with Mannarino and Tiafoe with Paul are other partnerships that will feature in the doubles tournament.

Murray holds record for most Queen's Club Championships titles

The record number of titles at Queen's Club belongs to Andy Murray with 5 trophies. The former world No. 1 won the title as an ATP 250 in 2009, 2011 and 2013 and then twice as an ATP 500 in 2015 and 2016.
He is closely followed with four titles by John McEnroe (1979-1982), Boris Becker (1985, 87', 88', 96'), Lleyton Hewitt (2000-2002, 06') ad Andy Roddick (2003-2005, 2007).  Murray, Dimitrov and Alcaraz are the only former champions in the draw, with 2021 and 2022 champion Matteo Berrettini notably absent.

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