Andy Murray holds the record for most Fever-Tree Championships titles with five. But before the Scot began his reign at The Queen’s Club, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick dominated the grass-court event.
The two rivals combined to win eight consecutive trophies at the Fever-Tree Championships from 2000-2007. Hewitt and Roddick are tied with Boris Becker and John McEnroe for second-most triumphs at The Queen’s Club in the Open Era.
In the 1999 semi-finals, when Hewitt was only 18, he suffered a heart-breaking defeat against Pete Sampras in a final-set tie-break. But in 2000, Hewitt would not be denied. Despite losing his first three ATP Head2Head matches against Sampras, who at that point was a six-time Wimbledon champion, Hewitt cruised to a 6-4, 6-4 win against him in the final. That was the 19-year-old’s biggest title yet.
In 20001, Hewitt played Sampras at The Queen’s Club for the third consecutive year, rallying from a set down for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 semi-final triumph. Hewitt then defeated home favourite Tim Henman 7-6(3), 7-6(3) for his second straight trophy at the event.
Hewitt advanced to his third consecutive final at The Queen’s Club in 2002 without dropping a set. But the Aussie’s winning streak came under fire in the final against Henman. The British star took the first set 6-4 before Hewitt battled back to win 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 for his 15th straight victory at the tournament.
Hewitt won his lone Wimbledon title that year, becoming one of only seven players to complete The Queen’s Club-Wimbledon title double in the same season in the Open Era. The others are McEnroe (1981, ’84), Jimmy Connors (’82), Becker (’85), Sampras (’95, ’99), Rafael Nadal (2008) and Murray (2013, ’16).
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In the semi-finals, the young American overcame a lopsided ATP Head2Head rivalry with countryman Andre Agassi, who returned to World No. 1 the Monday after the event. Roddick struck 27 aces in a 6-1, 6-7(5), 7-6(6) victory to upset Agassi. He then defeated Grosjean 6-3, 6-3 for the title, and he went on to win his lone Grand Slam title later that year at the US Open.
In 2004, Roddick arrived at The Queen’s Club on the back of a disappointing second-round loss at Roland Garros against World No. 125 Olivier Mutis. But he had to find his best form on the London grass, facing three-time champion Hewitt in the semi-finals. In their first of two battles at the Fever-Tree Championships, Roddick beat Hewitt 7-6(7), 6-3, reportedly hitting 153 mph on the radar gun with his serve.
“It’s not much to look at, but it’s still attached, so that’s good,” Roddick said of his serving arm.
Roddick defeated three Top 15 opponents from the quarter-finals on, beating Grosjean in the final 7-6(4), 6-4 to retain his trophy. The American then made his first Wimbledon final, losing to Federer in a four-set championship match.
The American completed his own three-peat in 2005 by beating Ivo Karlovic 7-6(7), 7-6(4) in the final. Only McEnroe, Hewitt and Roddick have won three straight titles at The Queen’s Club.
“I absolutely love playing here, and to be part of history here now is incredible,” Roddick said.
James Blake snapped Roddick’s 18-match Fever-Tree Championships winning streak in the 2006 semi-finals, leaving the door open for Hewitt to earn his fourth trophy at the tournament, which he did with a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Blake.
Roddick tied his rival by claiming his fourth trophy at The Queen’s Club in 2007, saving championship point in the second set of a 4-6, 7-6(7), 7-6(2) victory against Nicolas Mahut.
“This was the toughest one by far,” Roddick said.
Hewitt and Roddick played once more at The Queen’s Club, with the American winning 7-6(2), 7-6(4) in 2009. Neither man lifted the Fever-Tree Championships trophy again.