British Tennis News

Fever-Tree Championships: Medvedev, Tsitsipas target Lopez’ title; Murray wants singles return

Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Feliciano Lopez are the first stars to join the Fever-Tree Championships' 2020 line-up, taking place at The Queen’s Club in west London, 15-21 June.  

Five-time singles champion Andy Murray, who has a career-long commitment to play in the tournament and won doubles with Lopez last year, also hopes to be fit in time to compete for a record sixth singles title.

Tickets are set to go on general sale on Wednesday 26 February at 10:00.

Five months ago, Medvedev reached the US Open final as part of a stunning run, narrowly missing out in a five-set epic to Rafael Nadal at Flushing Meadows.

Then in November, Tsitsipas won the Nitto ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena and has established himself, along with Medvedev, as a fixture inside the world’s Top 10. Just last week he won an ATP title in Marseille. 

Looking ahead to summer, Medvedev said: "The last six months have been incredible for me, a real breakthrough, and now I want to try to do the same on grass. The Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club is a great event with perfect grass courts, and I am looking forward to playing there ahead of Wimbledon."

Tsitsipas added: “London will always be a special place for me after winning the ATP Finals last year and I am looking forward to coming back in June. The crowd at the O2 touched my heart in a very special way and I am excited to play at Queen's again this June. It is a big tournament and important to play in the lead up to Wimbledon.”

To win the title at Queen's, they will have to find a way to keep Lopez at bay. The 38-year-old stunned even himself by winning the singles title for a second time last year, and then backed it up with doubles glory only a couple of hours later.

I thought when I won the title in 2017 that it was the best moment of my career. I was wrong. It was last year!

“I thought when I won the title in 2017 that it was the best moment of my career. I was wrong. It was last year! Winning singles and doubles was something incredible, more than I could ever have dreamed when I received the wild card.

"That final day is one that I will never forget, Queen’s is always going to be one of the most special places of my career, and I am already looking forward to coming back to the Fever-Tree Championships in June to defend my title."

For Murray, the Fever-Tree Championships has been the most successful tournament of a glittering career that began with a first ATP match victory back at The Queen’s Club in 2005, and led to singles titles in 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016. He made an extraordinary comeback from hip surgery at the tournament last year, completing the fairytale comeback by winning the doubles with Lopez. A few months later, he went on to win the singles in Antwerp in October, but then suffered a pelvic injury that has so far prevented him from playing in 2020.  

“We are thrilled to be have received early commitments to play in the Fever-Tree Championships from two Top 10 players in Daniil and Stefanos, and such legendary figures at The Queen’s Club in Feliciano and Andy,” said Tournament Director Stephen Farrow. "Daniil and Stefanos have shown that they can beat anyone in the world, Feliciano’s win last year was incredibly emotional and uplifting, and Andy is our greatest champion. We know Andy is still working his way back to fitness, but we also know that he wants to play, so fingers crossed that he will be able to.”

The 2020 edition of the Fever-Tree Championships will take place 15-21 June, broadcast live by the BBC and Amazon Prime Video.

Join the stars at The Queen's Club

Secure your seat this summer - tickets go on general sale on Wednesday 26 February at 10:00.

Andy Lapthorne reaches world No.1 for first time ahead of Australian Open campaign

Great Britain’s new quad singles world No.1 Andy Lapthorne will play American David Wagner in his opening match on Wednesday at the Australian Open. He is amongst four Brits on the LTA’s GB Wheelchair Tennis World Class Performance Programme who are set to kicksstart their campaigns at the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne.

Lapthorne has become the latest Brit to attain a world No.1 senior ranking as of Monday's latest rankings.  The reigning US Open champion said:"To be heading into the 2020 Australian Open as the singles world No.1 for the first time in my career is a dream come true and I'm going to fight with all I have this week to stay at No.1."

After playing his doubles partner Wagner in his opening match at Melbourne Park, Lapthorne will then face both Alcott and his fellow Australian Heath Davidson in his remaining singles matches, with the top two players from the round-robin going forward to the quad singles final. 

Lapthorne and Wagner will also play Alcott and Davidson in the quad doubles title decider scheduled for Thursday as the Anglo-American partnership bid for their fourth Australian Open title together.

Lapthorne added: “Me and David are used to playing each other and then pairing up for doubles, especially in Melbourne. It’s nothing new. We have a great Australian Open record together and hopefully we can put it together this year on the big points and grab another Grand Slam title.”

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World no 1 singles Well what a way to start my week here at the Australian open. No 1 in the world in singles for the first time in my career today. It feels unbelievable to achieve a life long dream especially after such a tough start to the year last year. I want to thank FILA and HEAD for being with me every step of the way for years now. Without the support of family and friends especially those closest to me I would have never achieved this after being close so many times they stopped me from quitting. To everyone that’s helped me in a professional environment it feels great to repay all the faith. Lastly and most importantly I wanna say thank you to my manager Paul Regan for sticking by me at the start of last year when most people would of walked away he picked me up and made me believe this was possible. On top of the mountain never give up on your dreams. Lappo ⚒

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Alfie Hewett will play Stephane Houdet of France and former champion Gordon Reid will face defending champion Gustavo Fernandez of Argentina in the men’s singles, while Jordanne Whiley will play world No.2 Yui Kamiji of Japan in the women’s singles.

Hewett also won his second US Open title in September but is still seeking his first singles match win at the Australian Open. However, after reaching back-to-back singles finals at his first two tournaments of 2020, the 22-year-old world No.3 will be hoping he can add to a four-match winning streak over Houdet. 

It’s four years since Gordon Reid began his best season to date with his first Grand Slam singles title at the Australian Open. Wimbledon and Rio Paralympic titles followed and as a new Paralympic year gathers pace, world No.2 Reid will be looking to open his latest challenge at Melbourne Park by ending world No. 2 Fernandez’ title defence.

Three-time Wimbledon and US Open doubles champions Hewett and Reid will meet reigning Roland Garros champions Fernandez and Shingo Kunieda in the men’s doubles semi-finals at Melbourne Park as the Brits look to extend their unbeaten sequence for 2020. They followed up Super Series victory in Tweed Heads with the ITF 1 Melbourne Open title over the weekend.

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2020 doubles game strong 🏆🏆 Leading nicely onto the main course 😋 @australianopen

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Whiley returns to the first major of the year for the first time since 2016 after launching her comeback from maternity leave last February. Like Hewett, former US Open champion Whiley has also reached singles finals at the first two tournaments of 2020 in Australia.

In both finals she has finished runner-up to Kamiji, but will gain confidence from coming from 4-0 down to level the second set of their latest title decider at the Melbourne Open on Saturday. 

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Even though she keeps beating me... we are still friends.... for now 😅👯‍♀️

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Melbourne Park holds extra special memories for ten-time Grand Slam champion Whiley, who won her first major title in Australia, partnering Kamiji, in 2014. The duo went on to win all four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles six years ago, with Whiley becoming the first Brit to complete a calendar year Grand Slam in any discipline. Now nine-time doubles champions together at the majors, Whiley and Kamiji will play Sabine Ellerbrock of Germany and Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa in their semi-final this week.

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Australian Open: Brits in strong form heading into Melbourne

Britain's top players are all set to kickstart their runs at the first Grand Slam of the year as the Australian Open gets under way in Melbourne, taking place Monday 20 - Sunday 2 January 2020. 

Who's playing?

GB ATP Cup quarter-finalists Dan Evans and Cam Norrie face world No.132 Mackenzie McDonald and world No.64 Pierre Hugues Herbert in the first round. Also joining them in the main draw is Kyle Edmund who faces world No.27 Dusan Lajovic.

After reaching a new career-high of world No.33 on Monday, Evans is entering a Grand Slam with his first ever seeding as the No.30 seed. He also comes in fresh from a run to final-eight in Adelaide. Should Evans reach the third for a second time, he could potentially face seven-time champion Novak Djokovic.

Ranked just two spots higher than his first round opponent, Norrie is bidding to reach the second round in Melbourne for the first time, whilst 2018 semi-finalist Edmund will be looking to build on his recent run in Auckland which saw him reach the quarter-finals. 

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Quarter Finals bound! #aucklandopen #nike #quarterfinals

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British No.1 Johanna Konta enters as No.12 seed after an impressive 2019 season saw her reach three Grand Slam quarter-finals. She will take on Ons Jabeur for a place in the second round and could meet Serena Williams in a final-16 clash. 

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Good vibes 🙌👋😁

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British No.2 Heather Watson will be looking to build on her stunning form at the Hobart International, where she defeated top seed Elise Mertens.

She will take on Kristyna Pliskova in the first round in Melbourne. 

Katie Boulter will be making her Grand Slam comeback after taking time out to recover from an injury she picked up following her stunning Fed Cup performance which saw the Brits reach the World Group for the first time in over a quarter of a century. She faces a tough first round opponent in the form of No.5 seed Elina Svitolina. 

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👋🏼 @australianopen

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Harriet Dart became the fourth British woman to reach the first round after producing a dominant display in her final qualifying match, beating Giulia Gatto-Monticone 6-1, 6-3. She will find out her opponent once qualifying is completed.

For full draws and schedules, head to the tournament's official website

Meanwhile in doubles...

2016 Australian Open men's doubles champion Jamie Murray and Neal Skupksi are bidding to win their first Grand Slam title together after starting a solid partnership in summer last year. They come in a strong contenders after a deep run in Adelaide.

Fellow Adelaide semi-finalist Joe Salisbury with his American partner Rajeev Ram also pose a threat to competitors. Like Murray and Skupski, they are looking to claim their first Grand Slam title together and will be looking to follow on from their brilliant 2019 season which saw them reach the Nitto ATP Finals. 

Dom Inglot, Jonny O'Mara and Luke Bambridge will also be in action.  

What about wheelchair tennis?

Alfie Hewett, Gordon Reid, Jordanne Whiley and Andy Lapthorne take Brit hopes into the wheelchair singles and doubles events, with all four no strangers to Grand Slam success.

It’s been four years since Reid won his first career Grand Slam singles title in Australia before going on to triumph later the same season at Wimbledon and the Rio Paralympic Games. While he will hope to begin this current Paralympic year in similarly impressive form, Reid and Hewett have now won the men’s singles title at all four Grand Slams between them. Current British No.1 Hewett will aim to make it back-to-back Grand Slam crowns after winning his second successive US Open title in September, while the combination of Hewett and Reid will bid to add the Australian Open men’s doubles title to the three US Open and three Wimbledon crowns they have already won.

Lapthorne will also go in search of back-to-back Grand Slam quad singles and doubles victories after lifting both trophies at the US Open in September. Lapthorne is already a five-time Australian Open quad doubles champion and will be hoping to capture his sixth personal doubles title in Melbourne and what could be his fourth partnering the USA’s David Wagner.

Whiley returns to the first major of the year for the first time since 2016 after earning her first direct acceptance for a Grand Slam since launching her comeback from maternity leave last February. Whiley’s best Australian Open singles result to date was a semi-final berth in 2014, the same year that she won the first of two successive Australian Open doubles titles partnering Japan’s Yui Kamiji.

What happened last year?

Andy Murray once again had us all on the edge of our seats as he found himself in a five-set thriller against Roberto Bautista Agut. Whilst it was the Spaniard who eventually got the win, the former British world No.1 showed there was still plenty more to give, despite opening up about potential retirement just a few days before.  

I don’t know, maybe I’ll see you again, I’ll do everything possible to try.

True to his word, he underwent a second hip operation and made a winning return at the Fever-Tree Championships just six months later when he teamed up with Spain’s Feliciano Lopez to lift the doubles title. Then, just three months later, he cemented his place in the singles circuit once more with an inspirational run in Antwerp, concluding with victory over three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the final.

Five-time finalist Murray had to withdraw from this year’s Australian Open due to a pelvic injury, but will be eyeing up a return in 2021 for another shot at winning the title.

In the women’s draw, Katie Boulter scored her first main draw win Down Under with an impressive 6-0, 4-6, 7-6(6) win over Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.

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Well that was intense 😳 first main draw AO win 🤷🏼‍♀💪🏼 #AusOpen

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Keep up-to-date with all the latest news about the Brits in action at the Australian Open by following LTA on TwitterFacebook and Instagram, and signing up to LTA's free newsletterEurosport will be providing exclusive live coverage of matches.  

ATP Cup: Brits fall to Australia in quarter-final thriller

Great Britain's brilliant ATP Cup run was brought to an end in the early hours of Friday morning as Australia seized an edge-of-your-seat 2-1 quarter-final victory. 

Cam Norrie faced Nick Kyrgios in the opening rubber which went to the host nation as the Australian world No.29 maintained his impressive form to capture a 6-2, 6-2 win. 

It was then up to Dan Evans to level the tie to keep Great Britain's semi-final hopes alive. With two wins under his belt after defeating Belgium's world No.11 David Goffin and Moldova's world No.46 Radu Albot, he had momentum on his side as he returned to Ken Rosewall Arena to face world No.18 Alex De Minaur. 

The pair, who have met just once before on Tour, treated fans to an epic contest in what went on to be the longest match of the ATP Cup so far. After three hours and 24 minutes of phenomenal play, the British No.1 converted his fifth match point to clinch a 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(2) win. 

Britain's fate fell in the hands of Joe Salisbury and Jamie Murray in the decisive doubles up against Kyrgios and De Minaur. The Brits started strong and took the opening set 6-3, but the Aussies showed their grit and fought back to take the second 6-3.

In a deciding championship tie-break that Kyrgios described as 'the most stressful I've ever played in my life', the host nation was the side to prevail as they saved four match points before going on to win the marathon 3-6, 6-3, [18-16]. 

The Brits will now turn their focus on the Australian Open, where they'll bid to further the impressive starts they've made to their 2020 seasons.

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