The sun was beaming down on Devonshire Park at the weekend as two enthralling finals capped another fantastic week of world-class tennis in Eastbourne.
The crowds could not have wished for better weather as rain delayed play just once during the week-long tournament, on Thursday afternoon.
The sunshine was just one of many reasons to smile though, as record attendances watched Heather Watson make it to the semi-final stage in what was the first time a Brit had reached the final four since Jo Durie in 1982. The British number one was unlucky to lose out to eventual women’s champion Madison Keys on Friday.
This year’s tournament marked the 40th anniversary of top-level tennis in Eastbourne and proof, if ever it was needed, that the event continues to be as successful as ever can be seen in ticket sales; not only was Centre Court filled to the brim on Saturday for finals day, the previous Saturday (June 14) and Monday (June 16) beat the daily record attendances, with just under 6,000 people pouring through the gates at Devonshire Park on the opening day.
Around 4,000 people attended the event on Sunday to watch the rest of the qualifying matches and the highly-anticipated ‘Rally for Bally’ charity match between Greg Rusedski, Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska and Colin Fleming.
Tournament director Gavin Fletcher said, “Rally for Bally was very well supported. The atmosphere was relaxed and appropriate for the occasion and I think everyone involved enjoyed the experience, albeit in sad circumstances.”
This year’s tournament was the last in which a men’s ATP event will take place alongside the women’s WTA tour event as from 2015, the men will contest their trophy in Nottingham. For information, visit www.lta.org.uk/fans-major-events/LTA-summer-grass-court-events/AEGON-International.