What Is Queen’s Tennis? (& How To Watch At Home)

By Olivia Emily

11 months ago

The tennis season is well underway

Wimbledon may be the best known British tennis tournament, but Queen’s is our number one player’s favourite to tournament on home shores. ‘I love being at home there,’ Cameron Norrie told C&TH ahead of the tennis season earlier this year. ‘The whole grass season is just so special, and it leads up to Wimbledon, which I’m so excited for.’ But what is Queen’s tennis? Here we take a look at the history – plus how to watch from home.

What Is Queen’s Tennis? (& How To Watch At Home)

Queen's Club grass court

Queen’s Club grass court © Paul Gillett, CC BY-SA 2.0, via geograph.org

What Is Queen’s Tennis?

The Queen’s Tennis Tournament – also known as the Queen’s Club Championships, cinch (for its title sponsor), or simply Queen’s – is an annual men’s tennis tournament held at the Queen’s Club in West Kensington, London

Dating back to 1890, Queen’s is one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world, and one of very few remaining grass tournaments (one of eight grass tournaments on the 2023 ATP tour, which has a total of 67 tournaments). Because it is a grass tournament and because it usually concludes one week before Wimbledon begins, it is often considered a warm-up tournament for the Wimbledon Championships. Plus, it is an ATP Tour 500 event, meaning it offers lots of ranking points, therefore attracting many of the world’s top male tennis players.

When Is It Held?

Queen’s Tennis is held in June every year, ahead of the Wimbledon Championships. In 2023, it is being held from 17–25 June. 

A Brief History Of The Tournament

The Queen’s Tennis Tournament has been held at the Queen’s Club since 1890, but the tournament’s roots can be traced slightly earlier to 1881, when the London Athletic Club hosted a tennis tournament in Stamford Bridge, Fulham. In 1885, this was named the Championship of London, then the London Championships and London Grass Court Championships before being named for its host club from 1977 onwards. Despite women playing in the tournament from its beginning in 1881, the women’s competition was discontinued after 1973. Before then, the courts hosted tennis legends such as Billie Jean King, Chris Evert and Margaret Court.

Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis at the 2005 Queen's Club Championships

Lleyton Hewitt and Mark Philippoussis at the 2005 Queen’s Club Championships © Shermozle/Wikimedia Commons

The tournament takes place every year at the Queen’s Club, a renowned private tennis club in west London, which was named for Queen Victoria in 1887 after she granted the club a royal charter. The club is home to 28 outdoor tennis courts and 10 indoor courts; it is also the national headquarters of real tennis (the original sport from which modern tennis derives), rackets and squash. Despite having so many courts, Queen’s is known for being intimate, as the courts offer a relatively small capacity compared to other major tournaments.

The tournament has always been held on outdoor grass courts, and is known for providing a fast and challenging surface, demanding great skill from the players. Singles matches are played as ‘best of three’, and doubles competitions also take place.

The record holding winner is Andy Murray, who has won Queen’s a total of five times. Because it is thought of as a precursor to Wimbledon, it’s always worth keeping your eye out for the Queen’s results – they might just hint at who is going to prevail later in the summer. 

Where To Watch Queen’s Tennis 2023

Queen’s Tennis is airing live everyday on BBC Two from 1pm, or from midday on the Red Button; a second part of the action begins at 5.55pm on the Red Button. On Saturday 24 June, the semi-final will air on BBC One from 1.15pm, with the final airing from 1.15pm on Sunday 25 June, also on BBC One. Meanwhile, it’s also all available to stream on iPlayer

Prime Video is also hosting live coverage. Learn more at amazon.co.uk

Featured image: Centre court at Queen’s Tennis © Shermozle/Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0, cropped.