Former world number eight Marcos Baghdatis and Great Britain’s Davis Cup hero James Ward are among the list of entries for the Aegon Manchester Trophy at The Northern Lawn Tennis Club.
Until 1994, the Didsbury club hosted a mens event where seven-times Wimbledon champion Pete Sampras won his first grass court title and on May 31 world-class tennis will return to The Northern.
An array of international talent will be stepping out onto court at The Northern and Baghdatis is one who is looking forward to taking part in the historic tournament.
“I’m very excited about coming to Manchester. The grass court season is always a very special time of year and I know this tournament has a lot of history,” said the former Wimbledon semi-finalist.
“All the players will be looking for wins on the grass before Wimbledon so it could be a very important week.”
The tournament will be one of four on grass in the lead up to Wimbledon with other contests taking place in Eastbourne, Surbiton and Ilkley.
Fred Perry, Billie-Jean King, John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg and Goran Ivanisevic as well as Sampras are just some of the top players who have previously graced The Northern courts.
And joining Baghdatis this year will be British number three Ward, The Northern’s very own Liam Broady and several American and Australian stars such as Marinko Matosevic and Jared Donaldson.
Rosa Battle, executive Manchester City Council member for sport and leisure, is hoping that residents will seize the opportunity to see a potential future Wimbledon winner.
She said: “The Aegon Manchester Trophy is set to offer a thrilling spectacle for sports fans in Manchester this June.
“The competition is a chance to witness tennis of the highest standard. Who knows we may even be lucky enough to see a future Grand Slam champion.
“I’m sure this demonstration of world-class tennis will inspire local residents to get out and take advantage of the tennis facilities in parks throughout the city.”
Qualifying will take place on May 31 and June 1 and tickets are now on sale for the tournament via the LTA website www.lta.org.uk/aegonmanchestertrophy.
Image courtesy of Getty Images, with thanks.