2016 Aegon International

Men return to Devonshire Park

Eastbourne’s pre-Wimbledon tournament will revert back to a mini version of The Championships next year with the Men’s event back.

Devonshire Park hosted a joint tournament with mixed success from 2009 for six seasons.

But the LTA moved the Men’s competition to Nottingham last year in the hope of attracting bigger names on the ATP Tour as well as bettering the status of Men’s event at Queen’s Club in London.

Nottingham won’t lose a Wimbledon warm-up tournament as from 2017 will now hold a WTA event – the Aegon Open – alongside a £70,000 ATP Challenger Tour competition.

That should mean that the stars on the WTA Tour should continue to be attracted to Eastbourne’s Aegon International with the lesser ranked playing competing at Nottingham, which ultimately means that the Qualifying Event at Devonshire Park should consist of highly ranked players.

“This is all about delivering a bigger and better set of grass court tournaments for the players and our fans,” said LTA chief executive Michael Downey.

“It represents another major step in the evolution of the British grass court circuit.”

This U-turn by the LTA was discussed after last year’s Aegon International that attracted record crowds and landed lucrative TV rights.

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