British stars Dan Evans and Liam Broady will face each other competitively for the first time ever in the opening round of the Aegon Open Nottingham on Sunday, while their compatriots Kyle Edmund and James Ward will be up against Lukas Rosol and Malek Jaziri respectively.
Victory for Edmund, who was beaten by Andy Murray in three sets at the Aegon Championships at the Queen’s Club on Friday, would mean a second-round meeting with No.4 seed and last year’s Aegon Open semi-finalist Alexandr Dolgopolov.
While Broady and Ward face exciting challenges, fellow British wildcards Alex Ward and Brydan Klein have been drawn against qualifiers. Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin begins his Aegon Open title defence against Bosnian Damir Dzumhur for the right to play 11th-seed Vasek Pospisil in the second round.
All 16 seeded players received byes to the second round and there is a potential third-round clash between top seed Kevin Anderson and former World No. 7 Fernando Verdasco. American Sam Querrey, finalist at the Nottingham Tennis Centre in 2015, could also take on last year’s semi-finalist and Nottingham crowd favourite Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus in round three.
British No. 4 Evans, who has moved 662 places in the world rankings up to 92, will be looking to win his first ATP World Tour match since a first-round victory at Queen’s in 2014.
Looking ahead to the Aegon Open, Evans said: “I need to get deeper into the tournament, win the first round and go from there. I haven’t won too many matches on grass this year, so it would be good to get a win here and get into it.
“Winning matches at this tournament is just as important as winning them at Wimbledon. If I do well here and get a lot of points, it would count all the same. You can only improve when you play these kinds of tournaments.”
Aegon Open Nottingham
 K. Anderson (RSA) – Bye
J. Benneteau (FRA) vs. I. Dodig (CRO)
V. Estrella Burgos (DOM) vs. R. Ram (USA)
 F. Verdasco (ESP) – Bye
 V. Pospisil (CAN) – Bye
D. Istomin (UZB) vs. D. Dzumhur (BIH)
T. Bellucci (BRA) vs. J. Millman (AUS)
 S. Johnson (USA) – Bye
 J. Sousa (POR) – Bye
Qualifier vs. D. Sela (ISR)
J. Thompson (AUS) vs. B. Becker (GER)
 G. Pella (ARG) – Bye
 P. Lorenzi (ITA) – Bye
A. Mannarino (FRA) vs. T. Fritz (USA)
M. Jaziri (TUN) vs. [WC] J. Ward (GBR)
 A. Seppi (ITA) – Bye
 G. Muller (LUX) – Bye
H. Zeballos (ARG) vs. J. Vesely (CZE)
M. Youzhny (RUS) vs. T. Gabashvili (RUS)
 P. Carreno Busta (ESP) – Bye
 M. Kukushkin (KAZ) – Bye
[WC] A. Ward (GBR) vs. Qualifier
L. Rosol (CZE) vs. K. Edmund (GBR)
 A. Dolgopolov (UKR) – Bye
 S. Querrey (USA) – Bye
Qualifier vs. D. Schwartzman (ARG)
D. Kudla (USA) vs. E. Donskoy (RUS)
 M. Baghdatis (CYP) – Bye
 R. Berankis (LTU) – Bye
D. Evans (GBR) vs. [WC] L. Broady (GBR)
[WC] B. Klein (GBR) vs. Qualifier
 P. Cuevas (URU) – Bye
The Aegon Open Nottingham
Tickets to the Aegon Open Nottingham ATP event, which starts Saturday, 18 June are available for as little as £5. Please visit the LTA website for more information.
The Aegon Open Nottingham sees two tournaments take place in June, with the men’s ATP event staged from 18-25 June 2016. Both the WTA and ATP tournaments are an integral part of the British grass-court season, which features 11 international grass-court tournaments in eight venues across the country.
2017 Grass Court Tournament Calendar
Earlier this year the LTA announced exciting changes to the three week 2017 grass court tournament calendar. Nottingham will host a combined men’s and women’s tour-level tournament in the same week for the first time in 44 years. The pre-existing ATP 250 tournament will move back to Eastbourne, merging with the WTA Premier Aegon International to form a combined event (as it was from 2009-2014) featuring the following format: a 28-player main draw men’s event and 48-player main draw for the women staged across nine days. Other changes include a doubling of prize money at the Aegon Trophy Series (ATP Challenger & ITF Women’s Pro Circuit) creating the highest value circuit at this level in world tennis.
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