Berdych to play at Queen's ahead of Wimbledon
Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic returns a backhand to Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain during the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California on March 9, 2014 - by Jeff Gross
The Queen's event, which takes place just a few miles from Wimbledon in south-west London, has long been regarded as a leading warm-up event for the last of the four major championships in tennis still to be played on grass.
Berdych, Wimbledon runner-up to Rafael Nadal in 2010 after beating both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic on his way to the final, said: "My next goal is to go one better, one higher than I did when I reached the final of Wimbledon.
"That's my main goal for the rest of my career," the giant 28-year-old Czech added.
"It's a really big step, and it's going to take a lot of work every day to get there, but that's what I'm going to try to do.
"I think playing at Queen's gives me the best possible chance. I would also love to lift that beautiful Aegon Championships trophy."
Berdych has joined reigning Wimbledon champion Andy Murray in confirming his participation at Queen's from June 9-15.
"I have to say that I have never played on a better grass court than at the Aegon Championships, and The Queen's Club itself is just beautiful," said Berdych, a semi-finalist at this year's Australian Open before winning an ATP tour event in Rotterdam.
New tournament director Ross Hutchins welcomed the involvement of Berdych, a quarter-finalist at last year's Queen's event, by saying: "Tomas is one of the most exciting players in the game and it's great news he has pledged to return to the Aegon Championships.
"His raw power and booming game style are a sight to behold and I know the crowds at The Queen's Club will enjoy watching him play."