Maria Sharapova confirmed to play at the Aegon Classic Birmingham!

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has announced that five-time Grand Slam Winner, Maria Sharapova will be joining the star-studded line-up at the Aegon Classic Birmingham.

MariaSharapovaBirmingham

The former world number one has recently came back from a 15-month drugs ban. The Court of Arbitration for Sport tested her positive for heart disease drug meldonium but said she is not an “intentional doper”. The ban had a massive effect on her world ranking, sadly going from number 1 to 211.

Maria is a national treasure as she won a Silver medal for Russia at the 2012 London Olympics.

The decision to make her a wildcard for the Aegon Classic Birmingham was controversial but welcomed by the majority of fans and players in the tennis community.

Former Chief executive, Michael Downey, said “Maria has served her ban in full and is now back playing high-quality tennis. There’s always a lot of debate about who we give wildcards to. Now Maria has earned direct entry into Wimbledon qualifying, we want to give British tennis fans the chance to see her compete on grass in Britain beforehand.”

Two-time Aegon Classic winner Sharapova said: “I am really excited to be coming back to Birmingham this year to play on the grass as part of my build-up to Wimbledon and I thank the LTA for this opportunity.”

She will be joined in Birmingham by world number one Angelique Kerber, Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska and British number one Johanna Konta.

Aegon Classic Birmingham Hospitality

Eventmasters are delighted to be able to offer official premium Aegon Classic Birmingham Hospitality packages at this year’s event.

Serena Williams wins the Australian Open… whilst pregnant!

Serena Williams wins the Australian Open while (accurately) eight weeks pregnant, without dropping a single set! She returned to the Women’s Number One world ranking spot just after winning the Australian Open. She is returning as a mother next year as her first unborn child is due in this autumn. Williams will not play again in 2017 which means she’s missing out on the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open.

Earlier this week, Serena has faced some racism by Ilie Nastase about William’s unborn child. Nastase was escorted off the court with bad mouthing at officials. The Romanian has yet not apologised for the actions he has caused.

70 year old Nastase publicly made controversial racist remarks about Serena’s unborn child.

Serena commented about this remark on Instagram on 24th April 2017:

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A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on

 

Serena Williams isn’t the only athlete to complete a sport while pregnant. Thirty-one year old Alysia Montano ran the 800m at the US race while thirty-four weeks pregnant in the time of two minutes and thirty-one seconds. She has won 800 National titles in the past four years.

Jessica Ennis Hill has backed Serena Williams’s case by saying it is possible to do sports while pregnant.

“I’m sure whatever she decides she’ll do a great job at it because she’s a fantastic athlete.”

Women’s Wimbledon title up for grabs?

With Serena Williams out of this year’s Wimbledon Championships the title is wide open for anyone to win. The current favourite is World No 2 Angelique Kerber.

Eventmasters still have Wimbledon Hospitality packages available for this year’s tournament. Call us on 0121 233 6500.

Keys, Halep and Safrova Headline Aegon Classic Birmingham 2017

British tennis star Johanna Konta will be joined by defending champion Madison Keys and former Grand Slam finalists Simona Halep and Lucie Safarova at the 2017 Aegon Classic Birmingham, which takes place at the Edgbaston Priory Club from 17th-25th June.

After winning the biggest title of her career when taking the Miami Open last month, World No.7 Konta is looking to become the first British female to lift the Maud Watson Trophy. But she knows she faces tough competition from American star Keys, who will be defending the title she won in 2016.

Keys said: “Winning the title in Birmingham last year was an unbelievable moment for me and I’m looking forward to getting back to defend my title.

“It’ll be tough because you’re always competing against great players there but it’ll always be a special tournament for me and I know I can play well on those courts.”

The 2017 Aegon Classic will boast a prize pot of more than $800,000 and will be one of the leading WTA events ahead of the Wimbledon Championships.

It is the most prestigious annual women’s sports event in the Midlands and has been drawing world class tennis players to Birmingham since 1983, boasting Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Maria Sharapova and Angelique Kerber amongst its former champions.

Patrick Hughesman, Tournament Director for the Aegon Classic Birmingham, said: “We’re proud of bringing some of the world’s best female athletes to Birmingham and we want to create an amazing showcase for them and for women’s tennis, as well as giving people a fantastic experience when they come to watch. Our goal is to match the world class sport with a world class day out.”

Aegon Classic Birmingham Hospitality Packages Now On Sale!

Don’t miss out one of the Midlands finest sporting events this summer. Eventmasters are delighted to provide official Aegon Classic Birmingham hospitality packages in association with the Lawn Tennis Association. Please follow the link provided to book your packages.

Johanna Konta To Compete In Three Pre-Wimbledon Tournaments In 2017

British No.1 Johanna Konta has announced that she will play in a three high-class events ahead of her Wimbledon Championship campaign in 2017.

The 25-year-old is currently ranked number 10 in the world, reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open in January – and she will perform at the Aegon Open Nottingham, The Aegon Classic Birmingham, and The Aegon International Eastbourne.

These three prestigious competitions form part of the enhanced British Grass Court season which also features the Aegon Championships Queens.

Speaking on the announcement Konta said: “I am excited to be playing these three tournaments, especially in front of the home crowds again. The grass court season is one of my favourites and this series of tournaments ahead of Wimbledon provides great preparation opportunities for me.

“Playing in front of a passionate crowd that is fully behind you is a special experience that not many players get: I know how lucky I am to be able to do that. The home fans really can make all the difference so I hope lots of people come out to cheer!

Konta, who headlines a strong Aegon GB Fed Cup team for next week’s tie in Estonia, has had a incredible 12 months where she secured her first two WTA singles titles in Stanford and Sydney.

To celebrate this phenomenal run, the Lawn Tennis Association has also named Konta as an official ambassador for British Tennis.

LTA Chief Executive Michael Downey said, “We are thrilled Johanna has decided to commit to all three grass court events in the lead up to Wimbledon.  We are also very excited to name her as an official ambassador for British Tennis, celebrating the inspirational effect she has on young people across the country.”

Tennis Hospitality Packages for summer 2017 now on sale

Eventmasters are delighted to offer some of the finest tennis hospitality packages in 2017. Working closely with the LTA we can offer packages at the Aegon Classic Birmingham and the Aegon Open Nottingham where Johanna Konta will be in action.

We can also provide Wimbledon Tickets and Wimbledon hospitality packages for each day of the Wimbledon Championships 2017 – the biggest event of the tennis calendar.

For more information please follow the links provided.

Aegon GB Announced for Fed Cup

The Lawn Tennis Association have announced the Aegon Great Britain squad for the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas Europe/Africa Group 1 tie (Wednesday 8th – Saturday 11th February 2017) at the Tallink Tennis Centre, Tallinn, Estonia.

The Aegon Great Britain Fed Cup Team, will be led by the experienced Anne Keothavong and will comprise of the following players:

  • Johanna Konta
  • Heather Watson
  • Laura Robson
  • Jocelyn Rae

The final team selection will take place on Tuesday 7th February 2017, ahead of this two changes can be made to nominated team.

Great Britain captain Anne Keothavong said, “I’m delighted to name the four players for my first tie as captain in Estonia.

“In Johanna Konta we are lucky to have a player who is at the very top of the game right now. She will make a formidable opponent for any player. Along with Jo, we have fantastic experience in Heather and Laura, with nearly 40 Fed Cup rubbers between them, and Joss Rae gives us a strong doubles option.

“We are not underestimating the challenge in front of us, there are strong nations in this group, and our ambition has to be to progress and take this team where it belongs, into the World Group.”

The draw for the round-robin in the Europe/Africa Zone Group 1 will take place on Monday 16th January.

The round-robin pool matches for the ties will take place between February 8-10th 2017.

The pool winners will then compete in promotion play-offs on Saturday 11th February, which determines the two nations who will advance to the World Group II play-offs, in a ‘home or away’ basis, played on Saturday 22 – Sunday 23rd April 2017.

Tennis Hospitality Packages for summer 2017 now on sale

Eventmasters are delighted to offer some of the finest tennis hospitality packages in 2017. Working closely with the LTA we can offer packages at the Aegon Classic Birmingham and the Aegon Open Nottingham.

We can also provide Wimbledon Tickets and Wimbledon hospitality packages for each day of the Wimbledon Championships 2017 – the biggest event of the tennis calendar.

For more information please follow the links provided.

Great Britain Beat Serbia in Davis Cup

Great Britain made it through to the semi-finals of the Davis Cup after a 3-2 victory over Serbia at the weekend.

Despite the absence of Wimbledon champion and talisman Andy Murray, the defending Davis Cup champions had little trouble seeing off their rivals in the hostile environment of Belgrade.

Great Britain will now face Argentina in home semi-final in September as they look to make it back-to-back titles.

Kyle Edmund who was making just his second appearance in Davis Cup play produced a magnificent display against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic, taking the match 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-5).

It was Edmund’s second victory of the tie, having beat Janko Tipsarevic on Friday to send Britain into a 1-0 lead.

After his victory Edmund said, “You want to win for your country. When you know what is at stake… I’m so pleased that I’ve won.”

Throughout his match Edmund produced some sensational shots, particularly on the forehand which brought him 27 of his 39 winners in the match. At 5-4 in the final set, the 21-year-old served for the match, but a brilliant Lajovic fightback sent the decider to a tie-break.

But Edmund was able to rally and see out the match in confident fashion, giving Great Britain a first ever World Group match victory without their number one player.

Great Britain captain Leon Smith heaps praise on Edmund after Davis Cup quarter-final success

Great Britain’s team captain Leon Smith has become used to success since taking the role on in 2010. He has overseen 14 wins from 16 matches along with bringing Great Britain their first Davis Cup title since 1936.

After Edmund’s victory Smith was quick to praise the 21-year-old who was Britain’s highest ranked player in Murray’s absence, saying: “I have seen Kyle develop a lot,” said Smith. “To get your first Davis Cup win is something, to get two in one weekend is something very special indeed.”

Now Great Britain can look forward to a huge encounter with Argentina.

With the prospect of Andy Murray being back in action, fans know they could well be in for another Davis Cup triumph.

If you are interested in hospitality for the Great Britain v Argentina – Davis Cup please register your interest by following the link.

Andy Murray To Take Break After Wimbledon Championship Victory

Andy Murray will not defend his Rogers Cup title in Toronto next week. The Scot hasn’t played since beating Milos Raonic in the Wimbledon final, and was only a spectator as Great Britain won their Davis Cup tie against Serbia in Belgrade at the weekend.

Instead, the three-time Rogers Cup winner will train in Mallorca before defending his Olympic title in Rio next month.

“My body needs some recovery time,” said the 29-year-old. And you have to feel sympathy for him. The years are marching on and he has other kinds of priorities these days having recently become a father.

You never get back missing the early years of baby – they change so fast. So good for Murray that he is putting baby and body first for a while.

But let’s savour for just a moment a wonderful Wimbledon performance by Murray who now has three Grand Slams to his name – two Wimbledon victories and one US Open.

You have to think that men’s tennis is on the cusp of change. Nadal seems almost constantly injured; Federer has been one of the true greats but he too is finding time catching up with him.

Who will come through from the next generation to challenge Djokovic?

Serena Williams reigns supreme with seventh Wimbledon title

You might ask the same of the women.

Serena Williams, who won her seventh Wimbledon singles crown, and equalled the professional era record of 22 grand slam titles, with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Germany’s Angelique Kerber still reigns supreme.

Yet she is 34, an age not long ago akin to being pensioned off, when seemingly only 17/18/19 year olds could win.

Serena is one of just five women, after Maureen Connolly, Margaret Court, Martina Navratilova and Steffi Graf, to hold all four grand slam titles at the same time. Number one in the rankings. Someone every young kid can learn from.

Overall, it was a great Wimbledon.

As for Britain, apart from Murray, it is encouraging that more seem to be coming through to challenge in the top 100.

What we now need is for some of them to take the next step up.

Wimbledon 2017 Hospitality Packages and Debenture Tickets Now Available

We are delighted to announce that our Wimbledon Hospitality Packages and Debenture Tickets for the 2017 Championships are now available.

For more information please follow the link to our Wimbledon hospitality packages page.

Wimbledon 2016 – Quarter Finals Round Up

Andy Murray looks to be moving confidently towards another Wimbledon final.

Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios given a spanking and the dangerous Wilfried Tsonga put to the sword in the quarter-finals.

The Tsonga victory was particularly sweet albeit Murray went in with 12 wins to two losses.

Tsonga is one of the best grass court players in the world.

“He’s a really, really good grass court player – very, very dangerous,” said Murray ahead of that match. “I played him here a couple of times before. Both matches were hard. A few of the sets came down to just a couple of points.”

And so it proved.

Murray had to withstand a dramatic fightback from the 12th seed to win in five sets and reach his seventh Wimbledon semi-final.

Seeded second, he was pegged back from a two-set lead before coming through 7-6 (12-10) 6-1 3-6 4-6 6-1.

Murray will play Czech 10th seed Tomas Berdych in the last four today.

Seven-time champion Roger Federer takes on Canadian sixth seed Milos Raonic in the other semi-final.

Third seed Federer came back from two sets down to beat Croatia’s Marin Cilic, while Raonic saw off American Sam Querrey – conqueror of Novak Djokovic – in four sets.

Berdych, the 2010 runner-up, beat France’s Lucas Pouille 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 6-2 to set up a 15th meeting with Murray – the Czech trails 8-6.

For Murray, with Djokovic gone, it is such a great opportunity to add to his two Grand Slams, Wimbledon and the US Open, with a second title in SW19.

Berdych will take some beating but it would be desperately disappointing if Murray couldn’t overcome that hurdle.

With Djokovic out of the tournament and potentially facing Federer in the Final can Murray win his second Wimbledon title?

You never look further than your next match, but the legendary Federer is looming large.

What a great player, the Swiss may be 34 now but he has looked after himself and he is desperate for an eight Wimbledon crown.

The man’s ambition knows no bounds.

He holds records galore – the most Wimbledon titles, the highest number of quarter-finals contested and an unparalleled number of Grand Slam wins, 17 to be exact.

Hugely respected, he is a clever tactician and knows how to beat Murray.

But the Scot is playing brilliantly – a Murray/Federer final would be just so great. Oh to have a centre court ticket for that one. Watch the celebrities line up to take their seats for a potential classic.

As to the ladies, it is the Williams sisters who grabbed the headlines.

Six-time champion Serena and five-time champion Venus both won in straight sets over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Yaroslava Shvedova to progress through the quarter finals.

That then set Serena against Elena Vesnina in the semis, with Venus facing Angelique Kerber.

Serena, aged 34, did her part for an all Williams final winning 6-2 6-0, simply far too good for her unseeded opponent, the match lasting just 48 minutes.

But Kerber made sure it wasn’t to be a family reunion beating Venus, now aged 36, 6-4 6-4.

It will be Kerber’s first final.

“I will give everything I can,” she pledged, but good a player as Kerber is, surely it will be Serena’s to lose.

With 85 Wimbledon singles wins, Serena lies third in the women’s Open era standings behind Martina Navratilova (120) and Chris Evert (96), which says it all.

Wimbledon Championships 2016 – Week One Round-Up

The first week of the 2016 Wimbledon Championships has certainly lived-up to the pre-tournament hype. After seven days of pulsating action on the hallowed courts of SW19 we review the biggest headlines of the first seven days of Wimbledon 2016.

Defending Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic makes early exit

Entering Wimbledon 2016 the majority of tennis fans and pundits believed that Novak Djokovic would make short work of his side of the draw and make a fourth consecutive final at the All England Club.

The World No.1 came into the championships holding all four Grand Slam titles but on Saturday he suffered a shock third-round exit as he was beaten by American Sam Querrey 7-6 (8-6) 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5) – in an epic Centre Court clash.

The 28th seed produced the performance of his career against an unusually sluggish Djokovic who didn’t appear to be firing on all cylinders in the rain affected match. The 12-time major winner resumed play on Saturday two-sets down after Querrey produced some stunning shots on Friday.

But the defending champion looked to be finding his rhythm as he built up a quick 4-0 lead in the third-set, before closing it out 6-3. But Querrey was not to be denied and kept battling away behind a powerful service game, closing out the match in superb tie-break.

After the game Querrey said: “It’s incredible, especially to do it here at Wimbledon. I’m so ecstatic, so happy. I played the break points well and every time he had a break point I was able to come up with a big serve.”

While Djokovic added, “I managed to win four Grand Slams in a row over two different seasons. I want to focus on that rather than on failure. It’s not a place and time to talk about it.”

Andy Murray faces off against Nick Kyrgios in exciting Wimbledon 2016 clash

After Djokovic’s shocking early exit from the tournament, many believe that British No.1 Andy Murray is in pole position to claim his second Wimbledon title.

The 29-year-old has yet to drop a set in his opening three-matches and has looked in fine form, but he will know that Kyrgios will provide him with the toughest test so far. One of the keys to Murray’s form seems to be his relationship with Coach Ivan Lendl who reunited with the Scot before the Aegon Championships at The Queen’s Club.

And Murray knows he will need to perform at his best to make the next round saying: “Nick is an extremely good server who is improving all of the time. He likes the big courts, the big matches and has performed well in those situations before.”

The 15th seed from Australia produced a stylish performance to see of Spain’s Feliciano Lopez on Sunday and now has his sights set on the home-favourite.

Kyrgios said: “I definitely have the tools to beat Andy. I definitely feel like he’s beatable. He’s only human, but at the same time he’s a great player. He is one of the best in the world and is probably the favourite now Novak is out.”

Serena Williams making smooth progress towards another Wimbeldon Championships final in 2016

While Djokovic’s early exit sent shockwaves around SW19 there have been no such issues for Serena Williams in the women’s tournament as she continues her unrelenting domination on the grass courts.

Williams the reigning Wimbledon champion and World No.1 made smooth progress through the middle Sunday of the competition with a comprehensive victory over Germany’s Annika Beck.

The top seed made light work of her opponent taking the match 6-3 6-0 on Centre Court in just 51 minutes, the 300th Grand Slam win of her illustrious career.

After the match Williams said: “It felt good, I wasn’t sure what the stats were obviously, but on that last service game, I was thinking, ‘Have I lost on my first serve yet?’

The dominant form of Williams is an ominous sign for her rivals.

If you are interested in Wimbledon hospitality packages and Wimbledon debenture tickets for the remaining days please follow the links provided.

Wimbledon Championships 2016 – Draw Announced

The draw for the 2016 Wimbledon Championships, which begins on Monday, have been announced with Andy Murray facing fellow Brit Liam Broady in the opening round.

The British pair have never faced each other before, but after Broady was handed a wildcard for the All England Club event he will face the World No.2; who will be looking to claim the second Wimbledon title of his career.

Broady was the junior Wimbledon champion in 2011 and made his full debut in the tournament last year, making it to the second round where he was defeated in straight-sets by David Goffin. Murray will not take his opponent lightly, but knows that he could have a relatively smooth route to the semi-finals at least, if he performs to his best.

Andy Murray’s Potential Wimbledon Route

R1 Liam Broady
R2 Yen Hsun Lu/Qualifer
R3 Benoit Paire
R4 Nick Kyrgios
Quarter-Final Richard Gasquet
Semi-Final Stan Wawrinka
Final Novak Djokovic/Roger Federer

 

Another British star James Ward, who was also handed a wildcard, will face the toughest of openers as he takes on defending champion and World No.1 Novak Djokovic. The Serbian is without doubt the greatest player in the world at the moment, having already won the opening two Grand Slam events of the year.

Konta opens Wimbledon 2016 with Puig clash

In the women’s draw British No.1 Johanna Konta opens her campaign against Puerto Rican Monica Puig, as she looks to make her first Grand Slam final after making the Australian Open semi-finals earlier in the year.

British No.2 Heather Watson will be looking to continue her good form as she takes on Annika Beck, before a potential showdown with top seed Serena Williams; while Laura Robson opens her Wimbledon Championships against Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber.

For more information please see our Wimbledon hospitality packages and debenture tickets page.