What is the Queen’s Club tennis?
A week-long tournament, Queen’s Club tennis is the annual pre-cursor to Wimbledon. Players tend to use the tournament to help adjust to a grass court after just coming out of the clay court season. The event is part of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) World Tour 500 series.
Queen’s is one of the most prestigious grass court tournaments, and one of the oldest in the world. Originally known as the London Grass Court Championships, the tournament traces back to 1884 when it was held at the London Athletic Club at Stamford Bridge in Fulham. In 1890, the tournament moved to its current location.
This year, the tournament has been renamed the Fever-Tree Championships after the drinks company took over sponsorship from Aegon, who previously sponsored the games from 2009 to 2017. From 1979 to 2008, it was officially known as the Stella Artois Championships.
Where is it held?
The Queen’s Club is a private sporting club in the Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and hosts the championships each year. It’s smaller than Wimbledon, but don’t let that fool you – this event attracts tennis royalty (look into the crowd and you’ll likely spot such A-list celebs as Pippa Middleton and the Beckhams). It was established in 1886 and was the first multi-purpose sports complex to be built anywhere in the world. Since May 2007 the club has become a private members’ club, owned and operated by its members.
If you’re keen to become a member you must have insider contacts – you need to know two people who are already affiliated with the club, as your application needs to be proposed and seconded by two existing members. These insiders must also be over 18-years-old, have been members for more than two years and must have known the applicant for longer than two years. A non-refundable registration fee of £180 is also charged per person.
The tournament is for male players only. Previous winners include Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and Rafael Nadal, who recently claimed his 11th French Open title.
While Nadal pulled put of Queen’s after winning the French Open at Roland Garros last week for the 11th time, this year sees the long-awaited return of Novak Djokovic. Andy Murray will also return after almost a year out – the five-time winner hasn’t played since last year’s Wimbledon due to a hip injury in summer 2017 and subsequent surgery in January. The 31-year-old was seen practising at Queen’s on Friday but delayed a final decision until Saturday, when he told tournament officials he would be there.
Other players this year include Grigor Dimitrov, Diego Schwartzman and Kyle Edmund.
When does it start?
The tournament runs from Monday 18th June through to the final on Sunday 24th June. The BBC will run coverage from Queen’s every day on BBC2 between 1pm and 6pm.
What should you wear?
While it’s not compulsory, women tend to wear summer dresses and hats. A good pair of sunglasses is the norm too, as in the height of summer it’s more difficult to spot foul serve when the sun’s in your eyes. Men normally wear jackets with striped shirts and chinos.
What should you drink?
Pimms, of course, or a flute of Moët & Chandon. Hospitality tickets grant holders access to the bar and food areas, where you can also indulge in strawberries and cream or a five-course tasting menu. But not to worry if you don’t have a hospitality ticket – snacks and beverages are available from stands on the grounds.
How much are tickets?
Tickets for centre court will cost you anywhere between £65 and £160. However, ground admission for an unreserved spot on Court One comes in at just £30.