Andy Murray drawn to face Frenchman Benoit Paire at The Queen’s Club

Andy Murray has been drawn to face Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round of the Cinch Championships at The Queen’s Club, which begin on Monday.

Three-time Grand Slam champion Murray pulled out of the French Open to focus on Wimbledon and could face top-seed Matteo Berrettini in the second round.

The former world No 1 has seen his progress this year hampered, only being able to complete three Tour-level singles matches.

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An untimely bout of coronavirus prevented Murray travelling to the Australian Open and he then picked up a groin injury during his sleep ahead of the Miami Open in March.

He decided against playing at the French Open following some discomfort while playing in Rome, and he will now concentrate his efforts on getting ready for Wimbledon.

Fellow British players Liam Broady and Dan Evans have also been placed in the top half of the draw and will meet in round two should they win their respective opening matches against France’s Adrian Mannarino and Australian Alexei Popyrin.

Evans was pipped to the post in his ATP Challenger quarter-final in Nottingham against Denis Kudla, falling 6-4 1-6 6-4 on Friday.

Cam Norrie is in the bottom half of the draw and will face Spain’s Albert Ramos Vinolas, while 19-year-old compatriot Jack Draper will begin against third-seed Jannik Sinner.

Second seed Denis Shapovalov faces a qualifier, while defending champion Feliciano Lopez has been drawn against Filip Krajinovic.

Konta moves a step closer in Nottingham

British No 1 Johanna Konta is one step closer to ending a four-year wait for a title after making it through to the semi-finals of the Viking Open.

Konta continued her excellent preparations for Wimbledon by beating Alison Van Uytvanck 6-3 7-6 (8-6) to book a third last-four appearance in Nottingham.

It was her third win of the week, which is as many as the whole of 2021 prior to this event, and she is looking a good bet to add another WTA Tour trophy to her collection.

“I was really pleased with the way I was able to create opportunities and then I was just hoping to take some,” she said.

“I’m just enjoying being out here, playing in front of you all and being back on this surface. I’m just trying to play as many matches and with that you can gain that match fitness and get that tightness to help you make the right decisions in matches.”

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Konta is the last Brit standing after Katie Boulter’s excellent week ended in disappointment when she had to retire during her quarter-final with Lauren Davis.

The 24-year-old, making a comeback from a serious back injury, had not lost a set, but playing three matches back-to-back took its toll as she suffered a right elbow injury.

Boulter took the first set on a tie-break, but had to retire early in the second set as Davis won 6-7 (6-8) 2-0.

Konta will play Nina Stojanovic in the last four, while Davis meets Shuai Zhang.

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