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Andy  Murray sitting in a cinch branded chair on court at the cinch Championships while smiling
International

Three takeaways from media day at the 2024 cinch Championships

• 4 MINUTE READ

The start of the cinch Championships is just around the corner - catch up on all the action from the media day at the Queen’s Club as the world’s best ATP stars prepare to battle it out for the prestigious title.

1. Defending Alcaraz returns to the Queen’s Club focused on the grass

Just seven days ago, 21-year-old Carlos Alcaraz made history by becoming the youngest player in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam title on every surface, after reigning supreme at the French Open.

However, the young Spaniard is now force to leave his Grand Slam glory behind as he looks ahead to a busy few weeks on the grass, where he’ll attempt to defend two of the biggest titles in grass court tennis.

“We have to be focused on the tournament we’re playing right now” Alcaraz said in his press conference. “Obviously, Roland Garros was a fantastic two weeks for me and a dream come true to lift the trophy but right now my mind must be here on the grass."

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Alcaraz, who last year arrived at the tournament with minimal grass court experience, went on to enjoy a euphoric run on British soil – winning twelve matches in a row to be crowned cinch Championships and Wimbledon champion.

The three-time Grand Slam titleholder has already taken to the grass for his first practice session and is eager to find his rhythm ahead of a tasty first round encounter against reigning Rothesay International Eastbourne winner Francisco Cerundolo.

“I’m really happy to be back, I arrived yesterday morning and was on the grass for 25 minutes before the rain came. Today, I had over two hours practicing, playing sets and tie-breaks which helped me a lot to be ready before we start the tournament.

“I have more matches under my belt on the grass now and had a great run last year across the two tournaments. I know a little bit more about how to play and I’m more mature on the surface. The first practice I did here, my movement wasn’t as good as last year but it’s a slow process - I have to be really focused in my practice and every match I play but I’m sure I’ll get to 100%.”

2. The draw sets the scene for some exciting first round match-ups

Most importantly, we had the draw which has served up some exciting first round battles, particularly for our British tennis stars.

British first round draws

  • Jack Draper (GBR) vs Mariano Navone (ARG)
  • Cam Norrie (GBR) vs Milos Raonic (CAN)
  • Dan Evans (GBR) vs Brandon Nakashima (USA)
  • Andy Murray (GBR) vs Alexei Popyrin (AUS)
  • Billy Harris (GBR) vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry (ARG)

Former cinch Championships finalist Cam Norrie will be the first Brit in main draw action at this year’s tournament, as he prepares to take on 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic on Monday. The 28-year-old narrowly missed out on making the Rothesay Open Nottingham quarter-finals a few days ago, after being edged by compatriot Jacob Fearnley and will be desperate to get his campaign at the Queen’s Club off to a winning start.

Five-time winner Andy Murray has dealt a tough draw against world No.42 Alexei Popyrin, who came through two rounds of qualifying to reach the main draw. Meanwhile, newly crowned British No.1 Jack Draper will be brimming with confidence off the back of winning his maiden ATP title at the Boss Open, as he gears up to take on Mariano Navone.

Should they both win their opening matches, Draper and world No.2 Alcaraz will meet in a mouth-watering second round meeting.

Find the order of play and when the Brits will be in action via our Score Centre:

Score Centre

3. Dimitrov looks to challenge the trophy 10 years on from victory at Queen’s Club

Former world No.3 Grigor Dimitrov arrives in London off the back of a quarter-final appearance at Roland Garros, and is gunning to re-claim the trophy he etched his name onto back in 2014.

The Bulgarian shook off his defeat on the Parisian clay to world No.1 Jannik Sinner and made the journey over to London to begin preparations for the 2024 grass court season.

“I needed some rest so I went home for a couple of days and came straight here – I like it here a lot (at the cinch Championships)” Dimitrov said. “I like the conditions, I like to put myself out there on the grass court - it’s that time of the year that’s so special and I’m trying not to miss a day of it.

“It’s such a short season (the grass court swing), I wish we had an extra week on it, but I always try to have a smile when I get out there. It’s such an interesting surface, I’ve done well on it over the years. Grass has been kind to me, but I’ve also had some tough moments on it but here we go, time to buckle up!”

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Dimitrov – who has enjoyed a stellar first six months of the season, picking up his first tour-level title in seven years at the Brisbane International – holds fond memories of competing at the ATP 500 event, with this year marking 10 years since his epic victory at the prestigious Queen’s Club. Back then, he defeated Spain’s Feliciano Lopez in a gruelling three-set battle that would end 6-7(8), 7-6(1), 7-6(6) in favour of the Bulgarian.

Speaking of his memories of winning the tournament, Dimitrov added, “I remember it (the championship match) I saved some match points, we had crazy tie-breaks, I remember quite a bit of it.”

“It’s an interesting feeling every time I come here. I have my membership card, so it feels nice when I walk in and even on the days there’s not a tennis tournament. It’s a beautiful thing – I don’t take this for granted and I’ve been coming here every year since I was 16-years-old.”

Dimitrov is set to face France’s Adrian Mannarino in the first round on Monday.

Results and updates

Don't want to miss a minute of the action at the 2024 cinch Championships? Keep up to date with all of the latest results and updates below:

cinch Championships results

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