Familiar Wimbledon warm-up tournament as both tours head to Eastbourne.
The grass court season is well under way and with just a week until Wimbledon this week is the last chance for players on both Tours to finalise their preparations.
Eastbourne has long been a stop for women on their way to SW19 and the Aegon International is also becoming increasingly popular with the men’s tour. There’s also a grass court tournament in the Netherlands to look forward to. Keep reading for our preview of all next week’s tennis action.
The Aegon International
Eastbourne has been the Wimbledon warm-up of choice for women for many years and hosts both a WTA and ATP tournament next week.
The winner’s roll-call at Eastbourne reads like a Who’s Who? of women’s tennis. All-time greats who have taken the title here include Tracy Austin, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport, Chris Evert, Justine Henin, Monica Seles and Virginia Wade while Martina Navratilova won this event an astonishing eleven times.
Ten of the world’s top 20 women are in attendance this year including world number three Agnieska Radwanska, 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and the Italian trio of Sara Errani, Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci. Elena Vesnina is the reigning champion while it’s also worth keeping an eye on the progress of rising French star Alize Cornet.
Richard Gasquet is a regular in the second week at Wimbledon and the highest ranked player in the men’s tournament. Last year’s winner Feliciano Lopez believes that grass is his best surface and the Spaniard should go well again.
The British trio of Dan Evans, James Ward and Kyle Edmund will all participate having been awarded wild cards while last year’s beaten finalist Gilles Simon is also one to watch.
The Topshelf Open
Launched as an ATP tournament in 1990, the Topshelf Open became a joint event in 1996. Located in the Dutch town of s’Hertogenbosch there have been some strong winners of this event in recent years.
Rising star and French Open finalist Simona Halep won the women’s tournament in 2013 and the Romanian will return to Holland to defend her title. It’s been a superb year for the 22 year old who has flown up the world rankings and is now ranked 3 on the WTA Tour.
20 year old Eugenie Bouchard has reached the semi-final of both Grand Slam events in 2014 and the Canadian should also be in the frame. Bouchard is a former Wimbledon junior champion and so knows her way around a grass court and is the main danger to Halep here.
Dominika Cibulkova, Carla Suarez Navarro and last year’s Wimbledon semi-finalist Kirsten Flipkens are also scheduled to play.
When world number 240 Nicolas Mahut won the Topshelf Open in 2013 he became the lowest-ranked winner on the ATP World Tour in five years. Mahut upset second seed Stanislas Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 in the final and returns to the Netherlands to defend his title.
World number seven David Ferrer is the man to beat although the 2012 champion was knocked out in the first round by Xavier Malisse last year. Ferrer’s Spanish compatriots Fernando Verdasco and Marcel Granollers will also play.
Stay tuned to our tennis betting markets for all the per-tournament and in-play tennis action throughout the ATP and WTA circuit season.