Just when you thought that Novak Djokovic was virtually unbeatable Stanislas Wawrinka stunned the Serb to take took the French Open title. Now, as tennis looks towards the build-up to Wimbledon, it is suddenly all to play for again.
That build-up centres on the Midlands, with Eventmasters providing official tennis hospitality for the WTA Aegon Open Nottingham at Nottingham Tennis Centre June 8-14; the Birmingham Classic at Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham, a premier WTA event, June 15-21; and the ATP Aegon Open Nottingham event at Nottingham Tennis Centre June 22-27.
And it has the same official tennis hospitality packages at the Aegon International Eastbourne June 20-27.
A feast of VIP corporate packages on the table.
British No.2 Johanna Konta and compatriot Katy Dunne have been awarded wildcards for the main draw of the Aegon Open Nottingham. The brand new WTA International event, which began with qualifying over the weekend, will see some of the world’s best players including Agnieszka Radwanska take to the grass courts.
Konta, 24, broke into the world’s top 100 last year and qualified for the main draw of the French Open. British No.1 Heather Watson has been forced to pull out of the tournament with an elbow injury.
The Aegon Classic features 10 of the top 20 players in the world. In the strongest field the event has ever known there are three Grand Slam champions and two former world No.1 players.
Ana Ivanovic is joined by fellow Grand Slam winners Victoria Azarenka and Svetlana Kuznetsova while current world No.2 Simona Halep is making her debut. They will be backed by the German trio of Andrea Petkovic, Angelique Kerber and Sabine Lisicki as well as rising stars of women’s tennis Madison Keys and Garbine Muguruza.
The Aegon International Eastbourne has six of the world’s top ten and a host of former champions. They include World No.5 Caroline Wozniacki, Keys, Ekaterina Makarova, Radwańska and Kuznetsova plus two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova.
Meanwhile the Aegon Open Nottingham welcomes French Open semi-finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who will be joined by world No.13 Gilles Simon and fellow former Grand Slam finalists David Ferrer and Marcos Baghdatis.
In total five of the world’s top 20 have entered with fans also getting the chance to cheer on home players James Ward, Kyle Edmund and Aljaz Bedene alongside rising star of men’s tennis Nick Kyrgios.
Wawrinka shocked Djokovic to win his first French Open title and thwart the world number one’s career Grand Slam hopes.
The Swiss eighth seed played magnificently in a 4-6 6-4 6-3 6-4 victory at Roland Garros.
Wawrinka, aged 30, brought an end to Djokovic’s 28-match winning streak as he claimed his second Grand Slam title.
Djokovic had been strong favourite after beating nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and third seed Andy Murray, but he was outplayed. It was a wonderful performance by Warwrinka.
In the women’s final, despite being sapped by a nasty flu for much of the week, Serena Williams beat Lucie Safarova 6-3 6-7 6-2 to win the French Open and claim a landmark 20th major.
It was an immense achievement for the 33-year-old American given she blew a 4-1 advantage in the second set and trailed 2-0 in the third. Always a fighter, she recovered, and now only the legendary Steffi Graf has more majors in the Open Era at 22.
With Williams going strong, Graf’s record is under threat.
Already Williams has won in Melbourne and Paris; she’s claimed five Wimbledon titles and is the three-time defending champion at the US Open. But no-one has won all four majors in a season since … you’ve guessed it, Graf in 1988.
Williams’ coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, commented: “I think it’s the most difficult thing to do in tennis. That’s why it doesn’t happen often. But as she won the first two, why not believe it’s possible? And second, with her, everything is possible.”
A terrific performance too from Safarova, the 13th seed who was making her debut in a grand slam final. She will undoubtedly be one of the stars of the Aegon Classic Birmingham and could potentially renew her rivalry with Ana Ivanovic, who she defeated in the semi-final at Roland Garros.