Andy Murray will be challenged by five players from the world’s top 20 when he defends his title at the Aegon Championships in London in June.

Some new names have been added to the grass court tournament at Queen’s Club, including Croatian Marin Cilic, who won the title himself in 2012 after Argentine David Nalbandian was disqualified in the final for injuring a line judge.

Former world number one and four-time winner Lleyton Hewitt has also been added to the list, whose last title there came in 2006, after the Australian won three times in a row between 2000 and 2002.

Another well-known name who will now be appearing in west London will be Latvian Ernests Gulbis, who has seen his world ranking rise to 20 this year, and he won the Open 13 in Marseille in February.

The highest ranked competitor to Murray’s crown will be world number six Tomas Berdych, who reached the quarter-finals of the tournament last year before losing to Cilic.

Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will continue his aim to win the tournament for the first time, having reached the final in 2011 and the semi-finals in 2013, losing to Murray on both occasions.

Gulbis, Tsonga, Grigor Dimitrov and Kevin Anderson are the other entrants from the world’s top 20.

This year will see Briton and tournament director Ross Hutchins compete in the men’s doubles for the first time, and this will be his first year in his new role after succeeding Chris Kermode.

Murray could be the highest ranked player himself when the tournament begins on Monday June 9, dependent on how far he progresses in Masters Series events in Madrid and Rome before the French Open at the end of May.

The 27-year-old has an impressive record at the tournament in West Kensington, as he won the title for a third time when beating Cilic 5-7, 7-5, 6-3 in the final in June last year.

The Dunblane-born player won his first title at the Championships in 2009, when he defeated American James Blake in a two set final, and he became the first British winner of the tournament since Henry Austin in 1938.

He then followed up his third tournament victory at Queen’s Club by winning Wimbledon last July, becoming the first British male to win the singles title since Fred Perry in 1936.

Other previous winners include tennis greats such as Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl and Pete Sampras.


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