The idea of staging a 'People's Monday' here in this elite corner of west London is one to test the imagination, but the Aegon Championships will today open their doors to all for just £10. With rain forcing the postponement of yesterday's final between Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, organisers rescheduled the match for 12.30 this afternoon, when better weather is forecast. Yesterday's ticket holders will be given a full refund, while tickets for today will be available via the official ticket hotline (0844-209-7356) and on the gate from 10am (cash only).
It will be the first time the tournament has staged a Monday final since Boris Becker beat Jimmy Connors to win the second of his four Queen's titles in 1987. The only other Monday final in the Open era was in 1979, when John McEnroe claimed the first of his four titles here, beating Victor Pecci.
A frustrating Sunday for spectators saw the covers come off briefly in mid-afternoon only to be replaced before anyone had ventured out of the locker room. It was a tedious day for the competitors. Tsonga played Jenga, while a bored Murray began an exchange on Twitter about British-made cars. He later tweeted: "Is there anything the players could do to entertain spectators during rain breaks? Interviews? Autograph session? Karaoke would be great!" Tsonga and Murray later whiled away the time playing table tennis, which the Frenchman won two sets to one.
Murray, who won here two years ago, is attempting to become the first Briton to win the tournament at least twice since Francis Gordon Lowe, who won the title in 1913, 1914 and 1925. The 24-year-old Scot is the clear favourite to claim his 17th ATP crown after his performance on Saturday, when he beat Andy Roddick 6-3, 6-1 in the semi-finals with one of the best performances of his career. Tsonga beat James Ward, the British No 2, 6-3, 7-6 in the other semi-final.
Tsonga is a fine player on grass. The 26-year-old Frenchman reached the third round on his only previous appearance here four years ago, having come through the qualifying tournament, and made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year when he lost to Murray in their only meeting on grass. The world No 19 has won just one of his five matches against the Scot when he surprised him in the first round en route to the Australian Open final in 2008.
"I enjoy playing against him," Murray said. "He's a great athlete. He's similar in a few ways to Andy [Roddick]. He's very flashy, a great shot maker, and can be a little bit erratic at times, but he's one of the best grass-court players in the world, for sure."
The Aegon Classic final at Edgbaston between Sabine Lisicki and Daniela Hantuchova will also be played today following yesterday's rain. Tickets will be £5 and allocated on a first-come first-served basis.
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