Business community backs tennis week as ticket sales soar

TICKET sales are soaring for the AEGON International Tournament at Devonshire Park which starts on Saturday (June 11).

The town’s traders and businesses are getting behind the event by filling shop windows with colourful tennis displays to celebrate the world class sporting competition.

Advance ticket sales are up on last year’s event and are “looking good” according to the tournament organisers the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

This week the LTA announced Serena Williams will be making a much-anticipated return to competitive tennis at Eastbourne and will join her sister Venus and a raft of other top players, including Lleyton Hewitt and Ana Ivanovic.

Marco Giorgi, the chairman of Eastbourne Hospitality and the owner of the Afton Hotel, said, “I think there’s quite a bit of excitement in the town this year.

“The players that are coming are fantastic and the publicity the town is getting in national press with the Williams sisters has been brilliant.

“The town should embrace the tournament because it takes Eastbourne to a worldwide audience.

“I think it’s the most important event for Eastbourne and I’m delighted the LTA and Eastbourne Borough Council have been so positive and supportive of it.”

Eastbourne and District Chamber of Commerce, which represents more than 600 businesses in the town, has encouraged its members to snap up tickets for the tournament and shops have taken part in a best dressed tennis-themed window competition.

School children across the borough have also created some marvellous works of art for a tennis poster competition. For much much more tennis coverage see Herald sport and also a fantastic twelve-page supplement.

Visit www.eastbourneherald.co.uk for news and results throughout the week.