Murray Takes Young Beckham Under His Wing
Is Romeo Beckham, son of British soccer legend David Beckham, a future ATP World Tour star?
“Right now [tennis] is his sport,” the elder Beckham said during a visit to The Queen’s Club ahead of the Aegon Championships. “He gave up on football at the ripe old age of 13 and now he plays tennis four or five times a week. He enjoys himself. It’s a great sport and it’s a big privilege from him to be here today.”
Romeo’s hitting partner on Sunday happened to be World No. 2 Andy Murray, who was getting ready to make his grass-court debut in 2016.
“When you look at role models, you want them to be passionate about the sport and to play hard all the time. Andy is one of those players and is a great model for many kids around the world,” Beckham added.
Strong 500 Level Tournaments: Two traditional grass-court tournaments on the ATP World Tour in their second year as 500 level events take place with 20 of the Top 25 players in the Emirates ATP Rankings in action. The Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club in London and Gerry Weber Open in Halle both feature four of the Top 10 players in the Emirates ATP Rankings.
Career FedEx ATP Performance Zone Grass Court Index Leaders: Federer has the best career winning percentage on grass (.873, 144-21) and most titles (15) in the Open Era.
Aegon Championships (London): The Aegon Championships was voted Tournament of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year by ATP World Tour players in January, winning the award in its debut year as an ATP 500 event. The outstanding field is led by World No. 2 and four-time champion (2009, ’11, ’13, ’15) Murray, No. 5 Stan Wawrinka, No. 9 Milos Raonic and No. 10 Richard Gasquet. The other seeds are Marin Cilic, Roberto Bautista Agut, John Isner and Gilles Simon. There are three other former champions in the field: Grigor Dimitrov (2014), Cilic (2012) and Sam Querrey (2010).
Murray Top Seed/Reigning Champ: Murray is making his 11th appearance in 12 years (except ’07) at The Queen’s Club. He has a 25-5 career record, winning all four titles in odd years (2009, ’11, ’13, ‘15). He is 21-1 in odd years (4-4 in even yrs.). The 29-year-old Brit is coming off an impressive 18-3 record on clay, winning the ATP Masters 1000 Rome and reaching the final at the ATP Masters 1000 Madrid and Roland Garros. This season he owns a 28-6 record.
Looking For Five: Murray is trying to become the first five-time winner at the The Queen’s Club in the Open Era. Four other players have won four titles: John McEnroe (1979, ’81, ’83-84), Boris Becker (1985, ’87-88, ’96), Lleyton Hewitt (2000-02, ’06) and Andy Roddick (2003-05, ’07).
Young Stars Meet Again: This is the sixth meeting between two of the young stars on the ATP World Tour as #NextGen Nick Kyrgios and Milos Raonic square off in the first round. The 21-year-old Kyrgios, who is the youngest in the Top 20 Emirates ATP Rankings at No. 19, has won the past three meetings, including this season at ATP Masters 1000 events in Miami (QF) and Rome (2R). Raonic won the first two meetings at Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 2014.
British Contingent: There are three British wild cards in the tournament – Kyle Edmund, Daniel Evans and James Ward, a semi-finalist in 2011 (l. to Tsonga). They join the top two British duo of Murray and Aljaz Bedene. Four of the five players (except Ward) take on French opponents in the first round.
Wimbledon Champs on Sidelines: There are two former Wimbledon champions at the The Queen’s Club assisting as coaches. Three-time Wimbledon and four-time Queen’s Club champion John McEnroe is helping Milos Raonic during the grass-court circuit while 1996 Wimbledon winner Richard Krajicek is assisting Stan Wawrinka. Both players are searching for their first ATP World Tour grass title.
Janko Returns: Former World No. 8 Janko Tipsarevic returns to The Queen's Club for the first time since 2012. This is the 31-year-old Serb's ninth tournament appearance (7-8 record) and his best result is the third round in 2008, '11-12.
Outstanding Doubles Field: There are five of the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings in the main draw, led by top seeds Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut. The Frenchmen have compiled a 19-4 match record and won three titles this season.
British Streak: The No. 1 duo in the 2015 Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings, Jean-Julien Rojer and Horia Tecau, have won 11 matches in a row on British soil going back to last season. Rojer and Tecau captured their first Grand Slam title together at Wimbledon and closed out the year by winning the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Roland Garros Champs Reunite: Unseeded Feliciano Lopez and Marc Lopez are back in action for the first time since capturing the Roland Garros title (d. Bryans). The Spanish duo have compiled a 20-9 match record this season and are No. 4 in the Emirates ATP Doubles Team Rankings.
Gerry Weber Open (Halle): Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, Dominic Thiem and Tomas Berdych, four of the top eight players in the Emirates ATP Rankings, lead the 24th edition of the Gerry Weber Open. The other seeds are David Goffin, David Ferrer, Viktor Troicki and Philipp Kohlschreiber. Federer, who owns a tournament record eight titles, is one of three former winners in the field, along with Kohlschreiber (2011) and Berdych (2007).
King of Grass: Federer is making his 14th appearance in Halle in the past 17 years (except 07, ’09, ’11). The Swiss superstar is the most successful grass-court player in the Open Era with 15 titles and an .873 match winning percentage (144-21) on the surface. More than one-third of Federer’s 144 career match wins have come in Halle where he is 51-5, winning eight titles in 2003-06, ’08 and ’13-15. Last year Federer defeated Andreas Seppi 76 64 in the final. He is 8-2 in Halle finals (l. to Hewitt in ’10, Haas in ’12). Federer has won his last 13 matches in Halle since falling in the 2012 final to Tommy Haas. Going into this season, Federer has won at least one grass-court title in 11 of the past 13 years (except 2010-11).
Kei Returns: No. 2 seed Nishikori is making his fourth straight showing in Halle and the last two years he reached the semi-finals (ret. vs. Seppi with calf injury). He has a 24-18 career record on grass. This season the Japanese star is 32-10 with his fourth straight title in Memphis and runner-up efforts at the ATP Masters 1000 Miami and Barcelona. He is coming off a fourth-round finish at Roland Garros (l. to Gasquet in four sets).
Thiem Top 10 Success: Thiem, who became the newest member in the Top 10 Emirates ATP Rankings on June 6 after his semi-final run at Roland Garros, is making his second visit to Halle (0-1). In Stuttgart, the 22-year-old Austrian beat World No. 3 Federer en route to his first grass-court final and title (d. Kohlschreiber 67 64 64). Thiem has a 45-11 match record on the season with four ATP World Tour titles.
#NextGen in the Draw: The three #NextGen teenagers in the Top 100 Emirates ATP Rankings: Taylor Fritz (18), Borna Coric and Alexander Zverev (both 19), are in the main draw. The trio each have had personal breakthroughs this season by reaching their first ATP World Tour final. Coric was runner-up in Chennai and Marrakech, Fritz in Memphis and Zverev in Nice. Zverev is ranked a career-high No. 38 while Fritz is a personal-best No. 65. Coric is ranked No. 48 (after reaching a career-high No. 33 last July). Coric and Zverev both reached the second round last year while Fritz is making his Halle debut.
Kohlschreiber on German Soil: No. 1 German Philipp Kohlschreiber has compiled his best career results on his home country soil with five of his seven ATP World Tour titles coming in Germany. He finished as a runner-up in the Stuttgart final on Monday. Last month, he won the title in Munich. Kohlschreiber has a 27-10 match record in Halle, winning the title in 2011, reaching the final in 2008 and advancing to the semi-finals four other times (2007, ’09, ’12, ’14).
Berdych in Consistent Form: Berdych is putting together another consistent season on the ATP World Tour with a 23-11 match record. The 30-year-old Czech Republic native has advanced to the quarter-finals or better in seven of 10 tournaments. He is coming off a quarter-final at Roland Garros (l. to Djokovic). Berdych has compiled a 16-6 match record in Halle, reaching the quarter-finals or better five of his previous seven appearances. Last year he reached the quarter-finals (l. to Karlovic). He advanced to the final in his debut in 2006 (l. to Federer) and won the title in 2007 (d. Baghdatis).
Goffin Eyes Top 10: Top Belgian David Goffin, who is ranked a career-high No. 11 after reaching the quarter-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Thiem), is making his second appearance in Halle. Three years ago he lost in the 1R (l. to M. Zverev). This season Goffin has compiled a 26-11 match record, reaching back-to-back semi-finals at ATP Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami. He also advanced to four quarter-finals, including ATP Masters 1000 Rome.
New Faces: There are seven players making their main draw debut in Halle, including No. 6 seed David Ferrer. Other first-timers (not including qualifiers) are: Brian Baker, Malek Jaziri, Denis Kudla, Paolo Lorenzi, Lucas Pouille and Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The last player to win the title in his maiden appearance was Lleyton Hewitt in 2010.
Milestone Watch: Two players are trying to reach milestone match wins in Halle. Mike Bryan is one doubles match win away from reaching 1,000 in his career (999-304) while last year’s runner-up Andreas Seppi (299-319) is one singles away from 300 in his career.
MOST DOUBLES WINS IN OPEN ERA
Doubles Field: The top seeds in the doubles draw are Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, who are making their Halle debut. They are coming off semi-final showing in Stuttgart (l. to Marach/F. Martin) and a runner-up at Roland Garros (l. to Lopez/Lopez). They are No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Team Rankings with three titles and a 29-10 record together. The No. 2 seeds are Lukasz Kubot and Alexander Peya, who reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros (l. to Bryans). The No. 3 seeds are Raven Klaasen and Rajeev Ram and the No. 4 seeds are Henri Kontinen and John Peers. Brothers Alexander and Mischa Zverev, who were finalists in Montpellier in February and in Munich last year, received a wild card.
Stuttgart finalists Kohlschreiber and Thiem are playing together for the second straight week.
In Case You Missed It
16 June – Benjamin Becker (35)
17 June – Marcos Baghdatis (31)
18 June – Richard Gasquet (30)
+19 Yen-Hsun Lu (78)
+9 Paolo Lorenzi (48)
+7 Mikhail Kukushkin (54)
+6 Mikhail Youzhny (70)
+5 Sam Querrey (32)
+2 Taylor Fritz (63)
- Andreas Seppi: 299 wins
- Mike Bryan: 999 wins
- Julian Knowle: 396 wins
- Alexander Peya: 297 wins
- Andreas Seppi: 99 wins
- Tomas Berdych: 98 wins
- Fernando Verdasco: 445 wins
- Bernard Tomic: 145 wins
- Aljaz Bedene: 48 wins
- Edouard Roger-Vasselin: 148 wins