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The Queen's Club, London: 10 - 16 June 2013
The 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych has joined Andy Murray in confirming that he will compete for the Aegon Championships title, 10th-16th June.
Berdych, currently at a career-high World No.6, will be playing at The Queen’s Club for only the second time, and he can’t wait to return after an eight-year absence.
“Even though it’s a long time since I played there I still remember that beautiful club very well,” said Berdych. “I have to say that I have never played on a better grass court than at The Queen’s Club. I’m really looking forward to being there again to try to create some good memories.”
His previous appearance came in 2005 when he was just 19, and decided to return after consulting with his new manager, the former World No.3, Ivan Ljubicic. Although not a grass court specialist himself, Ljubicic is convinced that playing at the Aegon Championships will improve Berdych’s chances of doing well at The Championships, Wimbledon.
“I believe that playing the Aegon Championships is going to help Tomas this year,” said Ljubicic. “He only played Queen’s once before and I thought he should change that. Traveling is tiring. If a player stays in London and gets used to London grass - and the Queen’s Club courts are the closest to the courts at Wimbledon - it can only be a good thing. I think it’s the best preparation for Wimbledon.”
Berdych agreed: “I think it could be a good advantage to be in London to get used to the conditions and to those great courts, and I think this is exactly what I need before Wimbledon. The experience of reaching the Wimbledon final was great. It showed me a lot of things - that I’m able to play really well through two weeks, which is very tough. I now have experience of a Grand Slam final and I hope one day I can be able to profit from that. For instance, the year I reached the Wimbledon final I was able to profit from the Grand Slam semifinal I reached a couple of weeks earlier in Paris, so I hope I can use the experience of reaching the Wimbledon final to make the next step.”
Berdych is enjoying the best period of his career. He has been ranked inside the world’s Top Ten for almost three years and qualified in all of those years for the ATP World Tour Finals in London. He was also a key player in the Czech Republic team that won the Davis Cup in December. Last week in Dubai he reached the final, beating Roger Federer along the way.
He joins the World No.3 Murray at the Aegon Championships, against whom he has a 4-4 head-to-head record, in signing up for the tournament.
Chris Kermode, the Aegon Championships Tournament Director, said: "Tomas has been one of the best players in the world for a few years now, and it's a real coup for us to add him to the field when he is at a career-high ranking. He has an explosive fast-court game which is perfectly suited to grass and we can't wait to see him at the Aegon Championships in June."
Murray is already scheduled to be in action on finals day. He will team up with Tim Henman to take part in Rally Against Cancer - an all-star doubles exhibition to raise money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, which supports The Royal Marsden, the world-leading cancer centre treating British tennis player Ross Hutchins. Donations can be made by going to: www.justgiving.com/RallyAgainstCancer2013
The 2013 Aegon Championships is one of four ATP & WTA grass court tournaments staged and run by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) in the run up to The Championships, Wimbledon, and will be the next opportunity for fans to see Murray in action on British soil.
The Aegon Championships will be broadcast live, every day from 10th-16th June, on BBC Television and Eurosport.
LTA Summer Grass Court events