• Laura Robson goes into the main draw of WTA event
• Jay Clarke among host of local East Midlands stars to feature
• Nottingham’s Freya Christie and Joss Rae among those confirmed
• Tara Moore, a quarter-finalists in 2016, returns

Former Wimbledon girls champion Laura Robson will join Britain’s World No. 8 Johanna Konta and her GB Fed Cup teammate Heather Watson in the main draw of the Aegon Open Nottingham after being handed a wild card into the first WTA grass-court event of the summer.

Laura Robson
Laura Robson (Image courtesy of LTA)

Local interests will also be an all-time high at the event, with Leicestershire’s Katie Boulter and Freya Christie of Nottingham receiving wild cards into qualifying, which commences on Saturday, while the men’s event will see Derby-born Jay Clarke, 18, go the ATP Challenger Tour main draw at the Nottingham Tennis Centre along with former junior World No. 2 Liam Broady, British No. 5 Brydan Klein and Cam Norrie.

Another main draw wildcard into the WTA event has been taken by Tara Moore, who was the best performing Brit in 2016, reaching the quarter-finals.

But that is not all, as GB Davis Cup champion James Ward and 2016 Wimbledon sensation Marcus Willis have also had their places in qualifying confirmed in the East Midlands, where fellow Brit Dan Evans will be top seed.

Robson, who reached the fourth round at Wimbledon and climbed to a career-high world ranking of 27 in 2013, beat Boulter in the Kurume ITF final in May as she steps up her comeback from injury-hit seasons in 2014 and 2015.

Olympic silver medallist Robson can count on plenty of passionate local support as well, as she will be teaming up with Nottingham local and Fed Cup teammate Joss Rae in the doubles event.

Boulter, 20, who has also bounced back admirably after missing virtually the whole 2015 season, winning one event and reaching two other finals on the ITF tour so far this year.

Teenager Christie, who was called up to the GB Fed Cup squad in early 2016, grew up practising on the Nottingham Tennis Centre courts and made her WTA debut there last year.

Ahead of the men’s event, Clarke has climbed over 1,200 places in the ATP rankings since falling in the Aegon Open qualifying last year and travelled to Rouen with the GB Davis Cup team in April along with Norrie.

Home crowds can look forward to the return of Stockport’s Broady, who lost to Evans in a tantalising first-round battle of the Brits in Nottingham 12 months earlier, despite having three match points.

Broady will be looking to avenge the loss along with Ward, who also lost to Evans at the Aegon Surbiton Trophy on Wednesday, while fans will relish the prospect of watching Willis after his historic run from qualifying to playing Roger Federer at SW19 last year.

The full daily schedule of matches will be available the night before via the Tournament website www.aegonopennottingham.com and via Twitter on @Britishtennis.

Tickets to the Aegon Open Nottingham are now on general sale via the LTA website.