Sport

Nottingham Festival of Tennis

No need to wait for Wimbledon, there’s grass court tennis going on right on your doorstep at the Nottingham tennis centre! The Aegon trophy is taking place from the 3rd – 9th June followed by the Aegon Nottingham Challenge which runs from 8th – 16th June. The extremely good news is that it’s very student friendly as you can watch for free. Players from the world’s top 100 are beginning the grass court season right here in Nottingham.

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There is plenty of British interest with many Brits in action during qualifying (which began this weekend 1st -2nd June) and a lucky few being granted wild cards into the main draw. Dan Evans, who was recently the hero of the Davis Cup tie in Coventry when Great Britain defeated Russia, will be in action at the Aegon Trophy. In the first round he faces the American Ryan Harrison, who had a victory over his countryman, the marathon man John Isner, earlier this year.

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(Photograph: Dan Evans and Dmitry Tursunov, Davis Cup April 2013)

Other Brits to look out for in the men’s draw include: Alex Bogdanovic, Josh Goodall and Ed Corrie. The top seed in the draw is Dmitry Tursunov (currently ranked 57th in the world) who has twice made it to the 4th round of Wimbledon, defeating Tim Henman in an epic match in 2005. He has been in good form recently with a win over David Ferrer on the clay in Barcelona – definitely no mean feat.

In the women’s draw there is also British representation with three members of the Fed cup team in action; Anne Keothavong, Elena Baltacha and Johanna Konta. Melanie South has also battled successfully through qualifying to gain her place in the main draw. Anne Keothavong has a difficult draw as she is to meet the top seed Tamira Paszek in the first round.

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You may remember Tamira Paszek (pictured right) as she was the winner in Eastbourne last year and the last two years running she has reached the quarter finals at Wimbledon. However Keothavong did defeat her on grass last year at the Aegon Classic in Birmingham so this should be an interesting match-up. Elena Baltacha has only recently returned to competitive action after an ankle injury kept her out since the Olympics. In the first round she faces Vesna Dolonc of Serbia. In 2011 Baltacha won the Aegon Nottingham Challenge and providing she’s injury free she’ll be one to watch as she hits the grass courts in preparation for the Championships.

So grab some friends (and maybe even some strawberries and cream if you fancy) and get over to Nottingham tennis centre for some classic British summertime entertainment.

For more information and the latest order of play click here

Helen Jackson

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