‘The Nottingham Open is special to me,’ says Hucknall tennis ace Freya Christie

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Hucknall’s Freya Christie has targeted a return to this year’s Nature Valley Nottingham Open as the countdown to the prestigious tournament at the Nottingham Tennis Centre gets underway.

The 21 year-old, who trains at the centre with coach Mark Taylor, was speaking ahead of an event which saw the tournament ball crew out through their paces as the venue gets ready to host some of the world’s top players in a month’s time.

Christie, who is in South Korea taking part in a WTA ranking event as part of her preparations for the summer grass court season said:

“The Nottingham Open is special to me. As a player on the tour you’re used to being away for 25 weeks of the year so it’s rare to have such a big tournament on your doorstep. It means that friends and family who wouldn’t normally get the chance to see me can come down and support. The line up is strong again this year and I’ll be doing everything to make sure I’m part of it.

“Having the tournament here with such world class players can really inspire young local players.”

The tournament opens on 8 June and this year’s line-up looks to be one of the strongest in recent times. Women’s world No. 10 and defending champion Ashleigh Barty has already been confirmed along with British No.1 and Fed Cup heroine Johanna Konta, with more names expected when the men’s and doubles entry lists are confirmed next week.

Rebecca James, Tournament Director said: “The Nature Valley Open is going to be part of a fantastic summer of sport in the city.”

It’s a huge event in the region’s sporting calendar and a real showcase for tennis in the city and the East Midlands. We’re looking forward to welcoming some of the world’s best in the first major event of the grass court tennis season.

James, who was also Tournament Director for Great Britain’s successful historic home Fed Cup ties this year including their recent victory at the Copper Box Arena against Kazakhstan, added:

“We’re delighted to have another great line-up this year to mark the fifth anniversary of the WTA event. With Johanna Konta confirmed to come back for the fifth time and the last two champions in Ashleigh Barty and Donna Vekic also competing, there’ll be plenty of world-class tennis for fans to enjoy. It is a fantastic opportunity for anyone to come and watch some great action on their doorstep and experience the thrill of live tennis at a superb venue.”

Further announcements to the men’s and doubles line-ups are expected in the next two weeks.

Centre Court tickets are available from just £10 for children and £21 for adults. For ticket purchases and more information about the Nature Valley Open, head to www.lta.org.uk/naturevalleyopen.

Follow @lta on Instagram, @LTA – Tennis for Britain on Facebook or @the_LTA on Twitter to keep up to date with the players’ journey in Nottingham.