Tennis star Greg Rusedski heads to Nottingham to teach sporting hopefuls

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Tennis star Greg Rusedski heads to Nottingham to teach sporting hopefuls

Tennis star Greg Rusedski picked up his racket and headed to Nottingham this weekend to encourage more people to take up the sport.

The former British number one joined hundreds of excited locals in the Old Market Square on Saturday as part of a free event organised by the Lawn Tennis Association.

The 41-year-old, who played in the Aegon Open Nottingham in 1997 and 2003, spent his time in the city taking selfies with punters, high-fiving fans and showing off his skills in mini-rallies.

He said: "People are out here today playing on mini courts with soft balls, and some have never played before but they're having a great time."

Excited tennis fanatic James Davis admitted he felt "star struck" after taking a photo with Greg and playing a match against him.

The 28-year-old, of Carlton, added: "I grew up watching him and this is the first time I've met him.

"He's such a good bloke and is genuinely nice."

Siblings Owen and Toby Bickley, of Mapperley, who play tennis twice a week, headed down to the event with their grandmother, Mary.

The youngsters played a doubles match with Greg – and ended up being crowned the winners.

Owen, eight, said he loves tennis because it's really fun. He added: "It's sometimes good when you hit the ball."

His brother Toby, five, said: "We beat Greg because we're better than him."

The event – which hosted an array of inflatable tennis courts – was there to promote the upcoming Aegon Open Nottingham, which takes place in June.

It will be the first time the city has hosted top-class international tennis since 2008.

Sporting stars including British number one Heather Watson, French ace Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and world number eight David Ferrer will be embarking on the city to take part in the major event.

Greg said: "It's great to see the tournament back in Nottingham and hopefully it'll encourage more people in the city to start playing to sport."

Nottingham City Council's portfolio holder for leisure and culture, Councillor David Trimble, added: "This event is great for Nottingham – we'll have tennis stars racing to the city for grass court practice ahead of Wimbledon.

"Hopefully more people will take up the sport and we'll begin churning out tennis stars of the future."

The women's tournament takes place June 6 to 14, and the men's June 20 to 27. For further information visit lta.org.uk/aegon-open-nottingham.

Reproduced courtesy of Nottingham Post

 
 

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