Queen's Club has received a major boost after world No1 Sir Andy Murray committed to playing the Aegon Championships, the west London venue’s traditional Wimbledon precursor, for the rest of his career.
Murray is the current champion and a five-time winner of the tournament, which he has traditionally used to acclimatise to grass courts in the short window between the French Open and Wimbledon.
“I’ve always loved playing the event and I’m really happy to know that I will play at Queen’s for as long as my career lasts,” said Murray, who is due to start his Australian Open campaign next week.
“My first ATP World Tour match win came at Queen’s 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 Aegon Championships was upgraded in status by tour chiefs the ATP in 2015 and its growth is set to continue this summer when capacity on Centre Court is to be increased 30 per cent to more than 9,000.
In a further boost to the tournament, the BBC has agreed a deal to broadcast it until at least 2024. The 2017 event runs from 19-25 June.
Tournament director Stephen Farrow said: “This year, and for many years to come, Andy Murray will return as our greatest champion in front of more people than ever before, and covered live on television, radio and online by the BBC. We couldn’t be happier.”