Now that the ATP has lifted the threat of British events losing ranking points – with the exception of Wimbledon, at this moment – players are starting to reveal their intentions as to which tournaments they intend playing.
It’s always special playing on the grass in front of a home crowd Andy Murray
Carlos Alcaraz, the Spanish teenager with two Masters titles to his name already this season, is to make his debut at Queen’s in the ‘cinch Championships’ which will also feature five-time champion Andy Murray and the current title holder, Italy’s Matteo Berrettini.
The exciting 19-year-old form Murcia, Spain, made his grass court debut last year at Wimbledon but has not played any other event on the natural surface and since then, has collected four titles as well as winning the NextGen Finals in Milan.
Murray, a two-time Wimbledon champion, is focusing his preparations for SW19 and has decided against playing the French Open and will now return to competitive play on the grass courts of Surbiton prior to Queen’s.
“I’m really looking forward to playing at Surbiton and Queen’s this year – two great events,” the former world No,1 said. “It’s always special playing on the grass in front of a home crowd.”
Berrettini, will return to defend his title and hopes that like last year, it will prove to be a launching pad for another attempt at the Wimbledon title which he had to concede to Novak Djokovic in the final.
The Queen’s field will also include world No 8 Casper Ruud from Norway, British No 1 Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans and Jack Draper in the singles while Joe Salisbury, Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski will feature in the doubles.
“To see so many of our British players thriving at the top of the game highlights the progress our sport has made in recent years, and it will be fantastic to see so many of them taking to the grass courts for the LTA’s summer events,” Leon Smith, Head of Men’s Tennis at the LTA and Davis Cup captain, said.
“In a year that has seen Cam Norrie break into the top ten of the ATP rankings, Dan Evans and Andy Murray serve up some great performances, Joe Salisbury rise to No 1 spot in the doubles rankings, Neal Skupski win his first ATP 1000 event while Jack Draper continues to make such great progress, there is so much to look forward to this summer in our grass courts events leading into Wimbledon.”
Surbiton Trophy kicks off on May 29 to 5th June while The cinch Championships runs from June 13-19.