The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has confirmed today that former Wimbledon champions Pat Cash and Jeremy Bates will be part of the exhibition line-up to hit centre court in Nottingham on WTA Finals Day at the Aegon Open on 12 June.
Australian tennis great Cash, the 1987 Wimbledon champion, will be joined at the Nottingham Tennis Centre by former British No. 1 Anne Keothavong and two-time Grand Slam mixed doubles champion Bates for a mixed doubles exhibition match at 12noon on what will be an action-packed day for the culmination of the WTA International tournament.
For Cash, a two-time Davis Cup winner with Australia and twice Australian Open finalist, it will be the first time that he will have hit the courts in Nottingham, but for Keothavong the East Midlands venue is a place that she frequented throughout her career. She won a hard-court title in the city in 2005 and featured on grass in Nottingham just weeks before announcing her retirement from playing in 2013
Bates, the former British No. 1 who partnered Jo Durie to win mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon in 1987 and the Australian Open in 1991, is a familiar figure in Nottingham, keeping a close eye on the nation’s top talents as Head Coach of Women’s Tennis for the LTA.
Bates will have a keen eye on the competition at the Aegon Open Nottingham again this year, with British No. 1 and Australian Open semi-finalist Johanna Konta headlining a strong field of local stars, including Heather Watson, Naomi Broady and Laura Robson.
Having Bates, Keothavong and Cash to join the action and thrill the crowds in Nottingham is the latest exciting addition to the week’s schedule.
Speaking on the announcement, Cash said: “The chance to play grass-court tennis during the British summer is always special. You never tire of the atmosphere that is generated by the public in the build up to Wimbledon. I’ve heard great things about how the Aegon Open has been embraced in Nottingham and for me, it is an opportunity to play at a venue where I’ve not previously played.”
The Aegon Open Nottingham (WTA) Tournament Director, Rebecca James, said: “The mixed doubles exhibition match adds another element to our Finals Day this year and I am sure this will provide plenty of on-court entertainment and fun for the crowds ahead of the anticipation of the singles & doubles finals, so certainly a day not to be missed.”
Tara McGregor-Woodhams, Head of Brand and Sponsorship Aegon UK, commented: “The Aegon Open Nottingham was a fantastic addition to the grass court calendar last year and we are delighted to welcome many of the stars of the WTA to the city to begin their grass court preparations.”
The Aegon Open Nottingham will see two tournaments take place in June, with the women’s WTA event being staged from 4-12 June 2016. Both tournaments will be an integral part of the British grass-court season, which features 11 international grass-court tournaments in eight venues across the country.
Fans can watch action at the Aegon Open Nottingham for as little as £5. Please visit the website for more details.