British No 1 Johanna Konta and 10-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams will headline this year’s Nottingham Open field, the first of the returning LTA summer grass court events.
Even though all our events will look different this year, we are delighted to be bringing world class tennis back to Nottingham and are looking forward to starting the 2021 grass-court season with a bang. Rebecca James, Nottingham Open Tournament Director
They are joined by 2017 champion Donna Vekic and British No 2 Heather Watson on the entry list for the WTA 250 level tournament that takes place 5-13 June at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.
Konta has reached the Nottingham final twice, in 2017 and 2018, and will be hoping to go the distance on her 5th appearance there.
Fifiteen players in the WTA Top 50 have entered the event, including Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina, American Alison Riske and Swiss World No 11 Belinda Bencic.
This year, the LTA has increased the singles main draw to 48, providing 16 additional main draw playing opportunities.
Up to 5 wildcards are also available and will be announced in the coming weeks.
The WTA Tour event kicks off the grass-court season after last year’s cancellation due to coronavirus.
With this summer’s French Open being put back a week because of the pandemic, which will now clash with the Nottingham tournament so, if any player is still involved at Roland Garros in the second week, they will be forced to withdraw from the event.
Tournament director Rebecca James said: “The Nottingham Open marks the much-anticipated return of our summer grass court season, and to have such big names on the entry list for the WTA event just adds to that excitement.
“Even though all our events will look different this year, we are delighted to be bringing world class tennis back to Nottingham and are looking forward to starting the 2021 grass-court season with a bang.”
The tournament is expected to operate at 25 per cent capacity for spectators, with free tickets being made available for key workers.
Williams, who celebrates her 41st birthday this June, is a 5-time Wimbledon champion and will be playing Nottingham for the first time.
She reached the quarter-final of the LTA’s Birmingham Classic event in 2019, losing out to eventual champion Ash Barty. She also partnered Britain’s Harriet Dart in the doubles competition.
Entries for the concurrent ATP Challenger 125 event at the Nottingham Open will be announced in due course.