Murray’s Queen’s hopes washed away

BRITISH No1 Andy Murray will look to crown his Wimbledon preparations by claiming the AEGON Championship this afternoon after yesterday’s final at Queen’s Club was delayed by persistent rain.

Murray is due to face Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at 12:30pm in his last competitive match before the season’s third grand slam gets underway a few miles away at SW19 in seven days’ time.

Tickets for today’s final will be available on the gate in west London, priced £10, while those who braved the elements yesterday without seeing a single point will receive a full refund.

Murray and Tsonga, meanwhile, resorted to a game of table tennis after the British summertime frustrated their efforts to play the real final, Tsonga winning two sets to one.

World No4 Murray is looking to cap a hugely encouraging week in which he eased fears over an ankle injury with a series of increasingly convincing victories in his first grass-court outing of 2011. The Scot was particularly emphatic in despatching American Andy Roddick, a three-time Wimbledon finalist, in Saturday’s semi-final 6-3, 6-1.

That came just eight days after he was soundly beaten by Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of the French Open.

But rain can’t stop Baltacha triumph
RAIN may have spoiled Andy Murray’s title hopes yesterday but it could not prevent British women’s No1 Elena Baltacha from landing her first trophy of the season.

Baltacha beat Czech Petra Cetkovska 7-5, 6-3 to win the AEGON Challenge in Nottingham after the match was moved indoors due to rain.

The Scot, who did not lose a set during the entire tournament, will compete at Eastbourne this week as she prepares for an assault on Wimbledon. Baltacha said: “I couldn't ask for more going into Eastbourne and Wimbledon.”