Tsonga & Dimitrov to play Aegon Championships
The 2011 runner-up Jo Wilfried Tsonga and the youngest player ranked inside the world’s Top 20, Grigor Dimitrov, have both committed to play in the Aegon Championships, 9-15 June.
Tsonga, who nearly beat Andy Murray in a memorable Monday final three years ago, and 22 year-old Dimitrov, the World No.16, will join defending champion Murray, World No.6 Tomas Berdych, and in-form Alex Dolgopolov at The Queen’s Club.
Tsonga followed his 2011 journey to the final by reaching the first of two successive Wimbledon semi-finals, building a big British following. He can’t wait to return.
“I like everything about the Aegon Championships,” said Tsonga, who also reached the semi-finals last year. “I love The Queen’s Club, I like London, I like the atmosphere at the tournament in that you are pretty close to the crowd, and even when you go on to the court you actually have to walk through the crowd to get there. I like that. It’s a nice atmosphere in which to play tennis. I was very close against Andy [Murray] in the final, but finally I lost it, so it was disappointing, but it was still a good tournament for me and I hope to be able to play in a final again.”
, the Aegon Championships was his first professional grass court tournament, coming a year after he won the 2008 Wimbledon boys' title. He was given wild cards to play at The Queen’s Club in both 2009 and 2010, and showed why by reaching the last four in 2012. Like Tsonga, he is one of the most popular players to compete at the tournament in recent years, and the thought of holding aloft the event’s iconic trophy is an enticing one for the young Bulgarian.
“I've been playing the Aegon Championships for five years already and The Queen’s Club is an unbelievable venue,” said Dimitrov, who beat Murray on route to the title in Acapulco this year. “There’s a lot of history at Queen’s, and it would mean a lot for me to one day lift that trophy. I really want to have that trophy in my hands and I’ll keep trying, keep pushing for it. I have a great support every year when I play, they support me in a really cool way, so I feel really happy when I’m out there.”
Dimitrov began working with Roger Rasheed, the former coach of Tsonga and Lleyton Hewitt towards the end of last year, and the relationship immediately reaped dividends. He won his first ATP World Tour title in Stockholm, Sweden last October and broke into the Top 20 for the first time this year.
“Roger and I had a big off-season,” said Dimitrov. “The guy is a working machine, and I like that! I like developing myself, investing in myself, and I don’t want to avoid anything that is going to help me on and off the court.”
Tournament Director Ross Hutchins said: “In recent years, two of the players most talked about by fans at the Aegon Championships have been Jo and Grigor. They are incredibly popular, and when you see how they play, you understand why. Jo is one of the most athletic, explosive players in the sport, and Grigor can play every shot in the book. Plus, they engage with the crowd and let people know how they are feeling. We are delighted that they are returning to The Queen’s Club.”
David Macmillan, Chief Marketing Officer, Aegon UK, said: ''This is fantastic news. Everyone at Aegon has enjoyed watching Jo and Grigor in recent years, and with Andy Murray, Tomas Berdych and Alex Dolgopolov also confirmed, we are looking forward to a fabulous week at the award-winning Aegon Championships at The Queen's Club in June.