Tennis world number 26 Peng Shuai of China has been forced to pull out of next month’s Aegon Open Nottingham, while former world number two and 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska announced that she will play at the tournament.
Peng, 29, suffered a season-ending lower back injury in her first round exit from the French Open on Monday. Last year’s US Open semi-finalist was due to be the number one seed at the brand new WTA event, which begins on Monday 8 June.
She said: “I am very disappointed that I won’t be able to play in Nottingham this year. I was really looking forward to coming as I know there is a big Chinese community there and it would have been fun to play in front of them. I wish the tournament great success and hope that I can come back next year.”
Meanwhile, following her early departure from Roland Garros, 26-year-old Radwanska will compete at the Nottingham Tennis Centre as a wildcard.
The Pole has 14 career WTA singles titles to her name, including Eastbourne in 2008, but is yet to go all the way at a Grand Slam.
Radwanska: “I am excited to be making my debut in Nottingham this year and am really looking forward to the event”
She narrowly lost out in three sets to Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final three years ago, and hopes that she will find her feet on grass quickly this time around.
“I am excited to be making my debut in Nottingham this year and am really looking forward to the event,” the world number 14 said. “My best results in my career have come on grass in Britain and I remember very fondly winning Eastbourne seven years ago and reaching the Wimbledon final in 2012.
“It is very special to be a part of this brand new tournament in its first year and hopefully this will be exactly the preparation I need going into Wimbledon.”
Did you know?
Agnieszka’s younger sister Urszula, who is also a professional tennis player and is ranked 109th in the world, won the 2012 Aegon Trophy ITF event in Nottingham
An extra week in the grass court season was introduced this year to ease the players’ transition from clay, as Radwanska will join a strong field featuring British number one Heather Watson, former world number five Daniela Hantuchova and 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.
The men’s new ATP World Tour event will also be played from June 22 – the week before Wimbledon – when the likes of David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Feliciano Lopez will come to Beeston.
Student tickets are available here for the WTA and ATP tournaments at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, which is situated next to University Park campus.
Images: Wikimedia Commons