Two of Nottingham’s most promising tennis players are set for the main draw when the Aegon GB Pro-Series heads to the Nottingham Tennis Centre this week.
Hard-serving 19-year-old Joshua Ward-Hibbert, a former junior world top-10 player, from Watnall and 18-year-old Luke Bambridge from Plumtree – who made the last-32 at Junior Wimbledon this year – are both set to take on a strong British and international field at the $15k event.
All the top players from Andy Murray to Novak Djokovic played in the ITF Futures series’ early on in their careers and the tournament from July 28th to August 4th offers a great chance for spectators to see the game’s next stars totally free of charge.
Fans will have high hopes for a home champion in the men’s draw with 16 of the 18 top ranked players from Britain – with former British no.2 Josh Goodall the highest ranked player in the draw.
21 year olds Ashley Hewitt and Tom Farquharson and 22-year-old Marcus Willis all appear in the main draw having had superb years where they have risen 284, 724 and 415 world-ranking places respectively – all to career-high positions.
And two-time Junior Grand Slam doubles winner – and two-time singles finalist – Liam Broady is the highest ranked player in the qualifying round as he continues his comeback from an injury-hit season.
Tournament Director Richard Joyner said: "Having been built for the Federation Cup 1991, the outdoor courts at Nottingham Tennis Centre are great for staging large international events.
"This is the fourth international event staged at the Tennis Centre this year, with the Aegon Trophy, Aegon Challenge, and last week’s British Wheelchair Open having already taken place."
In the women’s draw, former WTA top-100 player Mel South leads British hopes but comes up against a strong international field including the highest-ranked player in the tournament, Japan’s Miyabi Inoue.
There are a number of young female Brits to look out for such as 20-year-old Laura Deigman who has risen 141 places this year while other youngsters Francesca Stephenson and Eden Silva are involved in qualifying.
During the women’s singles final day on Sunday 4, Judy Murray will lead a mini junior FED Cup experience with young county players and 14 female coaches before settling down to watch the final.
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