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Extended grass season to boost British tennis

ATP chief Chris Kermode has welcomed the extension to the grass-court season from 2015 as a “significant enhancement” to the tennis calendar.

Nottingham will host an ATP 250 event in the lead-up to next year’s Championships, with a three-week run of grass-court tournaments leading up to Wimbledon, which takes place over the first two weeks of July.

The Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club and the Gerry Weber Open in Halle have been upgraded to ATP 500 events and will take place in the middle week, while Stuttgart, previously a clay-court event, will host an ATP 250 tournament on grass immediately after Roland Garros.

The 2015 ATP calendar, which features 62 tournaments in 31 countries across six continents, now includes seven grass court events, with a 75 per cent increase in points on the surface.

“The extended grass-court season, with additional Emirates ATP Rankings points at stake, is a positive step forward,” said Kermode, ATP Executive Chairman and President. “One of our assets as a sport is to provide for variance across playing surfaces throughout the season, so the strengthening of the grass-court season is a significant enhancement for the overall calendar.

“In particular, I would like to thank the All England Club, led by Philip Brook, for the instrumental role it has played in achieving this positive outcome.”

The ATP 250 event in Nottingham will be a 48-man draw, while Eastbourne will continue to host a WTA Premier event at Devonshire Park, which will also be increased from 28 to 48 entrants.

“Nottingham is a great city with a rich sporting pedigree and I’m delighted that we are bringing this international tournament back to the area which will help to inspire more people to play and follow tennis,” said LTA chief executive Michael Downey.

“The weeks in the lead up to Wimbledon are a vital time for players to find their feet on grass, and the Nottingham Tennis Centre boasts some of the finest grass courts in the country.”

2015 British grass-court season
June 8-14
WTA International – Nottingham

June 15-21
ATP 500 – The Queen’s Club
WTA Premier – Edgbaston

June 22-28
ATP 250 – Nottingham
WTA Premier – Eastbourne

June 29-July 12
The Championships, Wimbledon