British No.2 Heather Watson set to play in Nottingham
BRITISH No.2 Heather Watson is one of 12 top 100 players to enter the Aegon Trophy at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, from June 2-8.
Johanna Konta, Britain's No.3 ranked player and a semi-finalist in Nottingham last year, joins world No.92 Watson in a strong main draw that also includes defending champion Petra Martic and 2012 winner Urszula Radwanska, who is the younger sister of world No.3 Agnieszka Radwanska.
American Alison Riske, who reached the semi-final of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham last year, is the second highest ranked player behind world No.35 Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.
Watson has hit some fine form to return to the world's top 100, clinching the Prague Open with a 7-6 (7-5) 6-0 win against Slovakia's Anna Schmiedlova in Sunday's final.
Meanwhile, Konta has climbed to a career high ranking of 102 after reaching the semi-final of the ITF event in Saint-Gaudens last week.
She also teamed up with Canadian Sharon Fichman, who is also Nottingham-bound, to reach the women's doubles final in France.
Paul Hutchins, Aegon Trophy Tournament Director, said: "With 12 of the top 100 signed up to play in Nottingham, the Aegon Trophy has again proven to be a popular event for players looking to sharpen their grass-court skills in the run up to Wimbledon.
"Heather and Johanna are both great draw cards who will be particularly keen to find their rhythm on home soil.
"Johanna had some fantastic support during her semi-final run last year, and I'm sure local fans will again get right behind the British contingent of players next month.
"There will be no shortage of popular talent with Urszula and Petra both making a big impression by winning the tournament in style in the past."
Former Aegon Trophy finalist Coco Vandeweghe is among the initial 24 acceptances for the main draw.
Puerto Rico's Monica Puig, who was beaten by Maria Sharapova in the second round of the Italian Open last week, reached the last 16 of Wimbledon last year.
Veteran players Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and Kimiko Date-Krumm are both former Wimbledon semi-finalists, losing to former seven-time champion Steffi Graf.
The Aegon Trophy, commencing on Monday, June 2 (qualifying starting on May 31), is the first of back-to-back men's ATP Challenger and women's ITF events making up the Nottingham Festival of Tennis, with the Aegon Challenge finishing on Sunday, June 15.
Entry to both the Aegon Trophy and Aegon Challenge is free for all spectators.
For more information about the Nottingham Festival of Tennis, visit www.nottinghamfestivaloftennis.com.
Aegon Trophy main draw entry list (world ranking in brackets) Magdalena Rybarikova (35), Alison Riske (43), Monica Puig (56), Christina Mchale (59), Yanina Wickmayer (65), Sharon Fichman (77), Urszula Radwanska (78), Kimiko Date-Krumm (82), Coco Vandeweghe (87), Heather Watson (92) , Alison Van Uytvanck (94), Zarina Diyas (96), Johanna Konta (102), Petra Martic (105), Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (107), Magda Linette (111), Michelle Larcher De Brito (116), Nadiya Kichenko (117), Kristyna Pliskova (119), Andrea Hlavackova (120), Romina Oprandi (121), Vesna Dolonc (122), Olivia Rogowska (125), Saisai Zheng (133).
By Nottingham Post | Posted: May 22, 2014