Ravi Patki: Wimbledon comes to mind as soon as the French Open is over. Wimbledon is the most prestigious tournament in the tennis calendar. Winning here is like going to Kedarnath and having darshan of Lord Mahadev. Only 4 to 5 grass court tournaments are now played on the ATP Tour.
The Queen’s Club is a grass court tournament, between the French Open on clay courts and Wimbledon on grass courts. Players view the tournament as preparation for Wimbledon. Some players do not play this tournament before Wimbledon to avoid injuries.
The Queen’s Club, although not like Wimbledon, has a reputation, a tradition. This competition started in 1890. The tournament was held in West Kensington, 6 miles from Wimbledon.
Initially it was a competition for both men and women. Later it was kept for men only. Therefore, in parallel with this competition, the women’s competition is played in Eastbourne.
All matches in this tournament are best of 3 sets. There are many players like McEnroe, Baker, Sampras, Nadal etc who won Wimbledon by winning Queen’s Club. Andy Murray has won the tournament the most five times. The center court with a capacity of 9,000 spectators, with prize money in several million pounds, makes the tournament a major hallmark in professional competition.
Italy’s Matteo Berritini won the tournament last year. Federer, Nadal, Djokovic are unlikely to play this year. Spain’s new tennis star Alcaraz will also not be there.
India has left its mark on the Queens Club court. Ramanathan Krishnan won the tournament in 1959. He defeated Neil Fraser of Australia in the final. In 1977, the Amritraj brothers won the doubles title.
This tournament marks the beginning of the advent of Wimbledon. Get ready to experience the super fast grass court and the feast of serve and volley. Queen’s Club is starting from 13th June.