Andy Murray will donate this week's winnings to the Grenfell Tower fire victims
The block is less than three miles away from Queen’s Club where Murray and a further four of the world’s multi-millionaire top 10 are playing for a share of the £1.72million prize fund.
Should Murray win his sixth Aegon title on Sunday, he will collect a cheque worth £347,000 all of which will go towards helping the families affected by the tragedy. The tournament, too, is planning to make a “significant” donation to the fund.
Murray’s agent declined to comment on the Scot’s intentions but tournament sources yesterday revealed the world No.1’s plans.
In 2013, when Queen’s Club was a lower ranked tournament with a smaller prize fund, Murray handed over his £73,000 winner’s cheque to the Cancer Research and Care charity at the Royal Marsden Hospital after his friend Ross Hutchins had been treated for Hodgkin lymphoma there.
To bank the first £12,000 for the fund, Murray must get past Aljaz Bedene today, although judging by Bedene’s less-than-confident approach to the match, the money should be pretty safe.
The two have played only once before and that was on the very same court last year. Murray won that encounter in straight sets and Bedene sounds as if he expects history to repeat itself.
I don’t think there is a good day to play AndyAljaz Bedene
I don’t think there is a good day to play Andy
“I don’t think there is a good day to play Andy,” Bedene said. “He’s always going to be dangerous.
“I think probably his best surface is grass. I don’t think he lost last year – he lost one match the year before, so, I mean, it’s a good record. I think he’s going to be strong here and at Wimbledon.
“He has great movement, great returns, fighting, putting every ball back. I mean, he’s just awkward to play.
“I would say Andy [is the favourite for Wimbledon]. Andy loves it. And, yeah, I think he’s the favourite.”
It did not sound too promising for the Slovenian-born Great Britain No.4. Then again, little sounds promising in his life at the moment.
After 18 months of trying to persuade the International Tennis Federation to allow him to play Davis Cup for his adopted country – he took British citizenship in 2015 – he announced last month that he would consider playing for Slovenia again just to have a chance of going to the 2020 Olympics.
Aljaz Bedene doesn't seem too confident ahead of his clash with Andy Murray
Because he once played three dead rubbers for Slovenia in the Davis Cup, the International Tennis Federation rules state that he cannot play for any other country, no matter what passport he now holds. But if he reverts to the Slovenian flag and makes himself available for Davis Cup selection – even if he is not picked – he could still play at the Olympics for the country of his birth.
Unsurprisingly, Bedene sounds weary of the whole affair and said that he had no intention of talking to Stephen Farrow, the LTA’s legal director and the Queen’s Club tournament director, until later in the month.
Nick Kyrgios made a swift and painful exit from the event, slipping and hurting his already ailing hip as he took on Donald Young. After losing the first set 7-6, he threw in the towel but has every intention of being fit for Wimbledon.
“I’d play Wimbledon if I was injured pretty bad, anyway,” he said. “I will be playing, for sure.”
Kyle Edmund was removed from the draw sheet after two hours and eight minutes, beaten 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 by Denis Shapovalov of Canada.
The last time these two met, Shapovalov got himself defaulted for whacking a ball in frustration and hitting the umpire in the face. That error gave Britain the win in the deciding rubber in the first round of the Davis Cup in February.
This time, there were no temper tantrums, no fits of pique, just a solid effort from Shapovalov to put him into the second round and a meeting with Tomas Berdych.
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