Hot and sunny is the best way  to describe this year’s weather at the Aegon sponsored Queen’s Club tournament and after a nine-year innings Aegon’s final year of sponsorship. However, after a two-year period as a 500 level tournament there were a lot of disappointed ticket holders when a number of last-minute withdrawals including crowd favourite Juan Martin de Potro who pulled out injured following an early exit at the French Open and Gale Monfils, another crowd pleaser.  Rafa Nadal’s long-awaited re-appearance after a four-year hiatus also ended in disappointment when he withdrew from the tournament after his historic ‘La decima’ French Open title citing exhaustion after deciding his weary body wouldn’t hold to another tournament so soon after his French Open victory.   

On the warm, sunny opening day matches commenced with a clash between two Frenchmen, Jo Wilfred Tsonga and Adrian Marrino with an easy win for Tsongo but this was followed by a second round defeat for the Frenchman to unseeded Giles Muller from Luxemburg who as it later turned out, was the unexpected winner of a marathon match against Rafa Nadal in the Wimbledon’s round of 16 two weeks! But back to Queen’s – with Murray as top seed a lot of pressure was placed on his shoulders to defend his title but the world’s number one unexpectedly lost to unseeded Aussi Jordan Thompson in the first round. As it turned out that wasn’t all of Murray’s woes who later revealed a hip problem needed sorting out before the start of Wimbledon. Disappointing outcome for tickets holders who doubtless had expected to see  a lot more of Murray but then the entire tournament was full of unpredictable surprises and disappointments.

 

Feliano Lopez is added to the list of winners.

The semi finals match between Spain’s unseeded Felicano Lopez and seventh seed Thomas Berdych was another surprise win for Lopez who later went on to defeat 6th seed Grigor Dimitrov to reach the finals against fourth seed Marin Cilic a 2012 winner and favourite to win but on an overcast, damp finals day it was the in-form 35-year-old Lopez who went on the win his first Queen’s tournament, a title he had always wanted to win!   

 

Me having a drink with friends.

There is a lot to be said about Queen’s as a venue for a 500 event. Besides being a private tennis club, members are allowed in free and mostly a knowledgable crowd but the atmosphere in many ways reminds me of a sort of mini Ascot with a daily parade of pretty dresses and fashionable outfits, During the tournament the obvious most sought-after place to be seen in are the clubhouse and members enclosure which were always full to capacity. But work prevailed and there was little or no time to spend with friends during the tournament in the member’s after the close of play. My media pass entitled me to eat lunch in the players restaurant where not only was there an incredible choice of delicious food but more often than not opportunities to chat to players, coaches and various people involved in tennis – off the record of course! Often matches went on until quite late but with a free bar in the press centre was where, I usually ended up at the end of the day although time permitting would arrange to meet up with friends after matches in members and that often included my Danish girlfriend’s son Nico who turned up once for an after 5.30 guest badges but had such a great time came back a couple pf more times. By finals day, the hot weather had turned to rain but luckily the finals ended without a rain delay with a surprise unseeded winner!

Next up Wimbledon!

 

 

 

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