The English summer has arrived and it’s not all jugs of Pimm’s in glorious sunshine.
And when the sun finally reaches these shores then the national knows that it must be the grass court tennis season.
Having experienced rain at the Edgbaston Priory Club over the weekend for the 2015 Aegon Classic, a tournament won by German Angelique Kerber who has twice finished runner-up at Eastbourne, it was no surprise that Monday’s matches at Devonshire Park were delayed by rain.
The star-studded 2015 Aegon International, boasting 10 out of the world’s top 14 players, is a traditional warm-up tournament before Wimbledon on the quiet south coast town.
And despite a lack of buzz for the prestigious tournament amongst the locals, apart from hoteliers and restaurant owners who earn an extra income during the week-long event, there is plenty of top-class tennis – weather permitting due to played on the beautifully manicured lawns in the heart of Eastbourne.
But the big guns come out blazing from Tuesday, packed with former world #1s and ex-Grand Slam champions, with the BBC relaying live coverage of what used to be known as the world’s friendliest tournament.Eugenie Bouchard, last year’s Wimbledon runner-up, is the first seeded player due to take to Centre Court with defending champion Madison Keys to follow.
Weather permitting the tournament promises to provide a feast of incredible entertainment, with fans able to rub shoulders with the stars that they will see on TV over the next fortnight’s Wimbledon Championships.
When the weather is blazing sunshine at Devonshire Park then it is arguably one of the nicest tournaments to experience, aside from May’s Monte Carlo Masters, but when it is wet and windy can be a chore to enjoy.
Here’s hoping that Eastbourne, traditionally the warmest place in the whole of the UK, can provide the trademark sunshine for the rest of the week and treat tennis fans to another wondrous spectacle.