The Aegon Open in Nottingham takes pride of place in an expanded grass-court season from 2015.
With grass-court tennis increasingly imperilled by the swift turnaround between the French Open and Wimbledon, with just two weeks separating the close of play at Roland Garros in Paris from the first matches of the main draw at the All-England Club, the ATP and WTA Tours have added an extra week between the French Open and Wimbledon to create a new, three-week grass-court season and Nottingham’s Aegon Open plays an important role in the expanded season.
Home of a prestigious grass-court Challenger for many years as well as an ATP World Tour event, the Nottingham Tennis Centre sees the men’s Nottingham Open return for the first time since 2009 when it moved to Eastbourne from 2015 and hosts a brand-new women’s event two weeks earlier.
The Aegon Open is held the week after the French Open in early June and is a popular destination for top women’s players looking to make the transition from clay to grass and get their grass-court games in top working order ahead of the Premier events in Birmingham and Eastbourne and, of course, the most prestigious tournament of the entire season at Wimbledon.
Upgraded from a long-standing ITF women’s event, WTA Nottingham is an International-level WTA Tour event which welcomes a 32-player draw competing for $43,000 in prize money and 280 ranking points offered to the winner, with the runner-up receiving $21,400 and 180 in ranking points. Overall, the Aegon Open offers $226,750 in prize money to its competitors in the singles and doubles draw.
The winner also receives the Elena Baltacha Trophy, named for the former British no. 1 Elena Baltacha who tragically died from cancer in May 2014. Baltacha won the ITF event held at the Nottingham Tennis Centre twice – the second time less than a year before her death.
The Aegon Open in Nottingham kicks off the grass-court season for the WTA and many of women’s tennis top stars take to the lawns at the Nottingham Tennis Centre to compete for the Elena Baltacha Trophy and warm up their grass games ahead of Wimbledon.