Andy Murray handed tough opening round draw in potential Queen’s Club farewell

andy murray handed tough opening round draw in potential queen’s club farewell

Andy-Murray-Queens-Club-1

Andy Murray has been handed a tough round one test in what could be his final ever campaign at the Queen’s Club Championships.

No one has lifted the Queen’s title more than Murray, who has triumphed five times at the tournament – with his last victory coming during his dominant end to the 2016 season.

However, this is widely expected to be the final appearance at the tournament in West London for Murray, who has slipped to 97th in the world rankings in recent weeks.

The former world No 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner has alluded to potentially retiring this summer – though has made no official confirmation of that yet.

Either way, emotions will likely be high when the 37-year-old steps onto the court later this week, with Alexei Popyrin now confirmed to be his opening opponent.

Australia’s Popyrin has had to come through qualifying to reach the main draw – but is 48 spots above Murray in the ATP Rankings at world No 49.

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He also impressed as the top seed in qualifying, not dropping a set across his two matches.

Popyrin beat Otto Virtanen 6-4, 6-4 in his opening match, before dispatching fifth seed Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-4 to progress to the main draw.

The 25-year-old was part of the Australia team that reached the Davis Cup final last November, while he knocked out reigning Monte Carlo Masters champion Andrey Rublev at this year’s event – and also pushed Novak Djokovic in four tight sets at the Australian Open.

Should Murray prevail, he could face seventh seed Holger Rune in the second round.

But it will take some improvement on his recent displays to progress past Popyrin, who is one of the best servers on the tour.

The Brit has not broken serve in his last three matches, and has a troublesome 5-10 record on the ATP Tour so far this season.

This match will likely take place on Tuesday, with the order of play for Monday out.

Third seed and 2014 champion Grigor Dimitrov kickstart action on Centre Court against dangerous grass courter Adrian Mannarino, before Rune takes to court against Jordan Thompson.

Murray’s compatriot Cameron Norrie faces Milos Raonic in a battle of former Queen’s finalists, while Frances Tiafoe is also in action against qualifier Rinky Hijikata.

Tuesday will not only see Murray play but also defending champion Carlos Alcaraz – who will be in action for the first time since his French Open victory.

Alcaraz will take on Francisco Cerundolo, while second seed Alex de Minaur is set to face Lorenzo Musetti.

Queen’s Club 2024: Carlos Alcaraz handed tough opener by Cinch Championships draw

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