Andy Murray looks for Aegon boost as star-studded line-up confirmed

May 9, 2017

This year's Aegon Championships will feature a star-studded line-up that includes six of the top ten-ranked men in the world - and Andy Murray hopes to beat them all.

As the defending champion at both the Queen's Club and Wimbledon, Murray has said he hoped the tournament will give him the kind of boost he needs before he crosses London to the All England club.

In a message on the tournament website, the world number one said: "I always love this time of year, coming back to play on the grass. It's my favourite surface and I've played some of my best tennis here over the years."

He also noted that this year will see some exciting improvements, with the arena being expanded with an extra 2,000 seats.

Murray is already the most prolific winner of the Queen's Club tournament ever with five titles, and two of them - 2013 and last year - preceded Wimbledon glory.

He will certainly face stiff competition this year as the line-up for the tournament was announced, with confirmed participants including 14-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal, US Open champion Stan Wawrinka, former US Open winners Marin Cilic - who won the 2012 Aegon Championships - and Juan Martin del Potro.

Milos Raonic - who lost both the Queen's and Wimbledon finals to Murray last year - will be back, while Jo Wilfred Tsonga, 2010 Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych, rising star Nick Kyrgios and Belgium's David Goffin are also lined up to play. Fans booking corporate hospitality for the event are destined to see the very best in action.

Reflecting on the strongest field in the tournament's history, tournament director Stephen Farrow said: "The player entry list for the Aegon Championships is strong every year and we already knew we were in for a great line-up, but with Cilic and Goffin adding their names to make it six of the world's top ten, this is going to be the best yet."

The players involved in the tournament all have plenty to aim for. Murray came into last year's tournament with just one ATP title under his belt from the first half of 2016, but his win began a sensational run that took him to the top of the rankings. He will be hoping to repeat the feat.

Nadal, who won the 2008 title at Queen's before securing his first Wimbledon crown a fortnight later, will be keen to show he can still perform on grass after a series of early exits from a Grand Slam he has won twice. Having reached this year's Australian Open final, the Spaniard has already confounded critics who thought his days of challenging for Grand Slams might be over.

However, perhaps the most compelling plotline is that of Stan Wawrinka. Having been in the shadow of the 'big four' for so long, he has now won three of the four Grand Slams, meaning he could join a select group of players with the complete set if he wins Wimbledon, a group that Djokovic joined last year and also includes Nadal and Roger Federer.

The one problem for Wawrinka is he has a modest record on grass and no titles on the surface. At the age of 32 he won't get many more chances to win Wimbledon, so it will be no surprise if he makes conquering the final frontier of grass his top priority.

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