Wednesday, April 9, 2008

No Nott, just East

The ATP Nottingham event is set to be scrapped next year and replaced by a joint event at Eastbourne.

The men's grasscourt tournament, which started in 1995, has declined in popularity over the last few years and will no longer feature on the ATP Tour after this season. The WTA tournament in Eastbourne, on the other hand, has improved immensely, becoming the biggest tournament leading into Wimbledon. Every year you can find greater names wanting to participate in the Wimbledon build-up.

The leader of Eastbourne Borough Council, Councillor David Tutt, said, "This is really excellent news for Eastbourne and will confirm the town's status as a top tennis venue, with a key British tennis event held here on the south coast.

"Taking place the week before Wimbledon, the tournament will attract huge media interest and world class players.

"This is a great boost to the town and its tourist economy and I am proud that Eastbourne has been chosen to stage two such major tennis events."

A record 40,000 spectators turned up for last year's International Women's Open, which ended in a thrilling final between world number one Justine Henin and world number four Amelie Mauresmo.

This top event at the Devonshire Park saw the best crowd numbers in the event's 32-year history as Henin and Mauresmo, left tennis fans on tenterhooks as they played a tense tournament finale that lasted more than two and a half hours and saw Henin triumph.


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