ANDY Murray has pledged himself to play the QueenÈs Club tournament until he quits. The British world No.1 sealed a record fifth crown at the prestigious tournament last summer, on route to top spot in the world rankings.
winning it five times means a lot to me
Murray, 29, preparing for the Australian Open, said:: "IÈve always loved playing the event and IÈm really happy to know that I will play at QueenÈs for as long as my career lasts.
My first ATP World Tour match win came at QueenÈs in 2005, so for it to become by far the most successful tournament of my career is a great feeling.
"Looking at the names that have won the tournament four times – some of the best players ever – winning it five times means a lot to me.
The next Aegon Championships event being staged June 19-25 – is increasing its centre court capacity to 9,000 from 7,000.
Tournament director Stephen Farrow said: To know that Andy will play at The QueenÈs Club for the rest of his career is a huge boost in what is an exciting and important year for the Aegon Championships with our stadium capacity increasing by 30 percent.
"Last year, we celebrated our four-time winners Roy Emerson, John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Lleyton Hewitt.
"This year, and for many years to come, Andy Murray will return as our greatest champion in front of more people than ever before. We couldnÈt be happier.
Meanwhile, the BBC has extended its broadcasting contract with QueenÈs until 2024. Farrow said: It is a huge boost.
Murray’s 2016 final triumph against Milos Raonic whom he overcame to claim his second Wimbledon crown the following month was watched by 3.7m on BBC TV, while also attracting listeners on Radio 5 Live and online interest via the BBC Sport website.
Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport, said: It is one of the most cherished events in the tennis calendar.
"It’s great that the BBC will continue to bring it to audiences across all platforms until 2024.
"With a British tennis player as the current world number one, there’s no better time for us to reinforce our commitment to the sport."
* Quotes from Reuters and the BBC.