Where to watch live tennis in the UK this summer

There are few feelings better than relaxing in the sunshine, a punnet of strawberries or glass of Pimms in hand, to watch two professional players battle it out on the tennis court.

And you’re spoilt for choice: during the British grass court season (June and July), there are a number of WTA, ATP World Tour, ATP Challenger Tour and ITF Pro Circuit contests along the length and breadth of the country to sink your teeth into. Oh, and there’s also an obscure Grand Slam in south-west London to explore…

However, negotiating the various tournament websites and sorting out tickets can be a tricky process. Fortunately,  we’ve put together a handy guide to help you manage your tennis intake, including a general overview of each contest, a rundown of the British players competing and ticket details. As if that wasn’t enough, we also got in touch with organisers to find out what makes their event special.


Aegon Classic Birmingham (17 to 25 June) 

Overview

Aside from hosting many big-hitters (apologies) of the sport over the years, the Edgbaston Priory Club has also produced two British Wimbledon winners: Maud Watson and Ann Jones. Not bad. The WTA Aegon Classic Birmingham is now one the premier ladies’ tournaments in the world and, as such, is a major dress rehearsal for Wimbledon. This means, like its sister tournament The Queen’s Club in London (see below), it’s the perfect place to see the big WTA names slog it out – without spending Wimbledon-esque amounts of money.

Current champion

Madison Keys

Who’s playing this year?

A better question might be “who isn’t playing?” – this year, eight of the world’s ten best players are heading to the Midlands to compete. That includes British No.1 Johanna Konta, former champion Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, Dominika Cibulková, Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska and many more.

Tickets

Prices range from £10 on the first two days (17 and 18 June) to £52 to sit in the lower tier of centre court on finals day. Children’s tickets, on the other hand, are either £5, £10 or £15, depending on the day. Book here.


Aegon Ilkley Trophy (17 to 25 June)

Overview

Proving there’s a lot more to Ilkley than the unofficial anthem of Yorkshire, the Aegon Ilkley Trophy is an ITF Pro Circuit and ATP Challenger Tour competition set amidst stunning countryside – despite only being a 25-minute train journey away from Leeds. The action takes place at the venerable Ilkley Lawn Tennis & Squash Club, which has 12 grass courts and six all-weather courts. If you like your tennis tournaments leafy, relaxed and with buckets of charm, the Aegon Ilkley Trophy is the place for you. Oh, and it’s a perfect excuse to pay a visit to the famous Bettys Café Tea Rooms.

Current champions

Yen-Hsun Lu and Evgeniya Rodina

Who’s playing this year?

Taylor Fritz, Marius Copil and Jurgen Melzer in the $150,000 ATP Challenger; Madison Brengle, Julia Boserup and the 2016 champion, Evgeniya Rodina in the ITF Pro Circuit competition.

Tickets

A grounds pass is free on 17 and 18 June; a grounds pass, including access to centre court, is £7.50 on 19, 20, 21 and 22 June; reserved centre court seats are £20 on Friday 23 June and Saturday 24 June. Book here.


Aegon Championships, The Queen’s Club (19 to 25 June)

Overview

With perhaps the most genteel surroundings of any British tournament, The Queen’s Club is iconic and has a pedigree stretching all the way back to 1886, a world of waxed moustaches, petticoats and tweed. In fact, it was the first multipurpose sports complex – anywhere. The ATP World Tour Aegon Championships takes place over its 28 grass courts and, like the Aegon Classic Birmingham, is the main dress rehearsal for Wimbledon, which takes place a week later. Gigantic tennis figures such as Andy Murray, Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Stefan Edberg and Pete Sampras have all lifted silverware there, and you could see the next champion in action too – if you don’t mind splashing out for the rather pricey tickets.

Current champions

British No.1 Andy Murray in the singles and Pierre-Hugues Herbert/Nicolas Mahut in the doubles.

Who’s playing this year?

Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Rafael Nadal, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Nick Kyrgios, Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and many more. Not bad, eh?

Tickets

Unfortunately, all of those star names mean that tickets aren’t cheap, with centre court prices ranging from £75 on the Monday to £150 for the final. However, there’s a strong possibility that you’ll see Andy Murray lifting a trophy so it’s worth shelling out if you’ve got the money. Book here.


Aegon International Eastbourne (23 June to 1 July)

Overview

Set in stately Devonshire Park, with the backdrop of the windswept South Downs, the Aegon International Eastbourne is certainly one of the better-looking British tournaments. Add WTA and ATP World Tour 250 tennis to the mix, along with proper fish and chips, and you’ve got an excellent sporting day out. But don’t just take our word for it…

“The Aegon International gives fans the opportunity to watch world class players in a uniquely intimate environment. While the tournament attracts some of the biggest names in the game – seven of the world’s top ten WTA players, and 15 of the top 50 ATP players this year – the tournament is renowned for its laid-back, up close and personal atmosphere. That access, combined with three special events through the week, makes the Aegon International a must-visit stop during the British summer of tennis,” a spokesperson for the tournament told Tennis Talent.

Those special events take the form of Family Day on 23 June (free entry for everyone), Charity Day on 24 June (£5 from every adult ticket is donated to Friends of Sussex Hospices) and Ladies Day (“the perfect opportunity to get friends from your tennis team together for a day of fun, inspiration and fashion”).

Current champions

Dominika Cibulková in the singles and  Darija Jurak/Anastasia Rodionova in the doubles

Who’s playing this year?

British No.1 Johanna Konta will take part in the WTA competition, along with Karolína Plíšková, Dominika Cibulková, Agnieszka Radwańska, Caroline Wozniacki and others. The men’s tournament will include Britain’s Kyle Edmund, Dan Evans and Aljaž Bedene, along with international players such as John Isner, Richard Gasquet and Pablo Cuevas.

Tickets

Prices range from free on Friday 23 June and £10 on Saturday 24 June for a grounds pass to £65 for a prime centre court seat for the finals. Book here.


Aegon Southsea Trophy (27 to 30 June)

Overview

The Aegon Southsea Trophy is a brand new ITF Pro Circuit women’s $100K+H tournament at Canoe Lake Leisure in Portsmouth. The club’s four artificial grass courts are a stone’s throw away from the beach and there’s a newly refurbished café on-site. As the competition has never been held before, we can’t offer much more advice or pick out any highlights for you, but we do know one thing: it’s completely free. That’s right, completely free. Better start packing your bucket and spade…

Current champions

None, which means you’ll see the very first champion if you head along this year.

Who’s playing this year?

The player field will be announced closer to the event. In the meantime, you can periodically check the competitions news page, which can be found here.

Tickets

The event is free to everyone, with no ticket required.


The Championships, Wimbledon (3 July to 17 July)

Overview

From the smallest tournament to the biggest. It’s the denouement of the grass court season, a contest famous around the world, a boon for British strawberry growers and arguably the most prestigious Grand Slam: Wimbledon. Now, even if you only have the vaguest interest in tennis, you’ve probably still considered going to the showpiece of the sport in Britain, so I’m not going to hammer home how incredible it is. Suffice to say, if you’re a fan and have the money for it, put your name down on the online ballot or, if you’re feeling brave, join the back of the incredibly long queue to buy tickets on the day. If the weather’s clement (unfortunately, that’s often a big “if”), you won’t regret it. For a flavour of the place, read Tennis Talent’s two-part feature about the preparations for the 2017 tournament.

Current champions

Andy Murray in the men’s singles; Serena Williams in the ladies singles; Pierre-Hugues Herbert / Nicolas Mahut in the men’s doubles; Serena Williams / Venus Williams in the women’s doubles; Heather Watson / Henri Kontinen in the mixed doubles.

Who’s playing this year?

It will, to use two hackneyed clichés in one sentence, be a “who’s who” of the “best of the best”. In the ladies’ singles that will include the likes of Johanna Konta, Angelique Kerber, Agnieszka Radwańska, Karolína Plíšková and Simona Halep. The men’s singles will feature none other than Roger Federer, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, Kei Nishikori and many others.

Tickets

The ticket process for Wimbledon can be confusing and involves a lot of luck. Your best bet, therefore, is to hear the information straight from the horse’s mouth and head to the tournament’s ticket page.

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