The Fever-Tree Championships, an LTA summer grass court event, has awarded wild cards to 2017 champion Feliciano Lopez and young British player Jay Clarke in singles, and the teams of Luke Bambridge and Jonny O’Mara, and Kyle Edmund and Ken Skupski, in doubles.
Lopez and Clarke join defending champion Marin Cilic, Top 10 players Stefanos Tsitsipas (6) and Kevin Anderson (8), and many of the most exciting NextGenATP stars in tennis at The Queen’s Club, 17-23 June.
Bambridge/O’Mara, Edmund/Skupski will line up in a doubles draw that features a returning Andy Murray alongside Lopez, the Bryan brothers, and a new British partnership of Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski.
For Lopez, 37, it is a return to the scene of his greatest triumph - a 4-6, 7-6, 7-6 win over Cilic in the final two years ago.
“For me, the Fever-Tree Championships is one of the best tournaments on the tour, and to win it in 2017 was the most special victory of my career,” said Lopez. “I am so happy and grateful to be given this wild card so that I can compete at this beautiful club against so many great players once again.”
Clarke, 20, has jumped more than 60 places in the ATP rankings (162) over the past 12 months and currently stands No.15 in the race to the Next Gen ATP finals in Milan, a tournament for players aged 21-and-under.
Leon Smith, LTA Head of Men’s Tennis and Davis Cup Captain, said: “Jay has made good progress this year, winning a challenger title in China and rising to just outside the world’s Top 150 in the rankings at the age of only 20. He has a lot of potential, and the Fever-Tree Championships gives him chance to test himself against the players he wants to be competing against regularly in the future.
“Luke and Jonny are a great story. They have become an established doubles partnership over the last year, reaching three ATP finals, while Ken and Kyle are a new team but with plenty of experience on the doubles court. This is a great opportunity for them all to show what they can do.”
Tournament Director Stephen Farrow, who is also the LTA’s Director of International Events and Professional Game, said: “These wild cards are in keeping with the traditions of the event, offering opportunities to a popular former champion, a rising young player, and two British teams in the doubles. Feliciano will always be one of our most popular champions, Jay continues to improve, and I am really happy to be able to give this chance to Luke and Jonny, and Ken and Kyle in the doubles draw. We are in for a fantastic week of tennis.”
The Fever-Tree Wheelchair Tennis Championships - the first ever grass-court wheelchair tennis ranking tournament to take place outside of Wimbledon - will also be staged, as will the inaugural Paul Hutchins Trophy - an 18-and-under match between Great Britain and the United States.
The Fever-Tree Championships is owned and organised by the LTA, and was shortlisted for Event of the Year at the BT Sport Industry Awards. The event was recently voted ATP-500 Tournament of the Year by the players on the ATP Tour. The Roll of Honour includes Murray, Nadal, Rod Laver, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras.