Back the Brits in Nottingham as the countdown to Wimbledon begins
If you want to savour some world class tennis, get along to Nottingham as the Nature Valley Open kicks off the grass court season next week.
We've been there, done it - and in our opinion it is one of the best tournaments anywhere if you want to get as close as possible to the action.
Top tip: While it's hard not to get totally engrossed by the competitive matches on offer, take 10 minutes or so just to study one player's footwork. We guarantee, it will be a revelation!
Four of the top 25 female players will be appearing, including Britain’s Jo Konta (world No.23) and last year's runner up, Japanese sensation and Indian Wells champ Naomi Osaka (world no 21), Australia’s multi-talented Ashleigh Barty (world No.18) who briefly gave up tennis for cricket and, the highest ranked in this field, Slovak player Magdalena Rybrikova (world No.17), who reached the semis at Wimbledon last year. Britain’s Heather Watson is also in the running and Croatian Donna Vekic, who lost to Maria Sharapova in the French Open this week, will be defending her title.
In the men’s draw, British hopes will be pinned Cameron Norrie, Liam Broady and from the East Midlands Jay Clarke who has been given a wild card, aged just 19. Can the teenager cause an upset? Defending champion, Dudi Sela from Israel, will be among those trying to stop him.
The Nature Valley Nottingham Open runs from 9-17 June. Tickets are available from https://www.theticketfactory.com/ltanw/online/~
Want to get on court yourself? The next round of the Nottingham Parks Tennis League starts just as the Open finishes, running from 21 June to 15 August. Join here https://localtennisleagues.com/nottinghamparks by Monday 18 June