Each week, Baseline will take a look at a player who has thrived at one of the stops on the ATP and WTA tours during their career. (Photos: Getty Images)
A first ATP Tour match win in a Hall-of-Fame-worthy career. A tournament-winning triumph to mark one of the greatest comebacks the game has ever seen. The Queen’s Club Championships in London has been the site of some of Andy Murray’s most notable achievements as the Scot has won five singles titles there, as well as a doubles victory for the ages.
Only nine months after winning the 2004 junior US Open title, Murray was given a wild card for the 2005 Queen’s tournament. There, he recorded his first ATP Tour main-draw win and posted another on his way to the third round.
As he shot up the rankings over the next few years, the Scot was unable to break through at Queen’s in his next couple of appearances. That all changed, though, in 2009 when the world No. 3 captured the first grass-court title of his career at the tournament, defeating James Blake in the final.
In his attempt at a title defense, Murray was upset in a third-set tiebreak by Mardy Fish. Returning to the tournament in 2011, the world No. 4 had a fairly comfortable run to the final, as he dropped a set in his opening match and was granted a walkover in the quarterfinals. The championship match was another matter entirely as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga won the first set and had his chances in the second before Murray took a tiebreaker to level the match. He won the decider 6-4 to claim his second title at the tournament.
Another Queen’s victory in 2013, this time over Marin Cilic, gave Great Britain even greater hope that Murray would end the men’s drought at arguably the most prestigious Grand Slam event of them all. After reaching the final of Wimbledon in 2012 and following that up with an Olympic gold medal at the site a few weeks later, Murray—the reigning US Open champion—claimed his second major title at the All England Club, bringing his two-year record on grass to a 24-2 mark.
Murray returned to the winner’s circle at Queen’s in 2015, beating Kevin Anderson in the final, and a year later, he defended his title over Milos Raonic in the championship match. Those two would meet again in the 2016 Wimbledon final, and once again Murray would come out on top as he completed the Queen’s/Wimbledon sweep for the second time in his career.
Over the next couple of years, a devastating hip injury began to take its toll on the former world No. 1. By the start of the 2019 season, Murray was eyeing an earlier-than-expected retirement, saying the physical burden was just too much to bear. A new procedure gave him hope and left him relatively pain-free, allowing him to work his way back to the court after six months off the tour. He made his return in London, entering the doubles draw with Feliciano Lopez.
Murray—who had only won two doubles titles in his career—and Lopez knocked off three of the best teams in the world on their way to victory. The win gave one of Great Britain’s greatest players a newfound sense of optimism in regard to his future prospects, and it was only fitting that the title came at the site of so many past successes.
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