The mind games begin ahead of legends clash

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Two-time Wimbledon doubles champion Rennae Stubbs admits she can’t wait to take to the courts again in a Legends mixed doubles match at the Aegon International – and revealed Lindsay Davenport had already begun the mind games.

The Australian will take on Davenport with countryman Mark Philippoussis and Britain’s Greg Rusedski also involved in the match at Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park taking place on Father’s Day, June 16.

Stubbs had a fine record at the Aegon International, which takes place from June 15-22, during her playing career, winning the doubles title four times with Lisa Raymond – including her last ever championship in 2010 – and appearing in four more finals.

Davenport also had an excellent record winning the singles title in 2001 and the doubles in 2003 and despite their professional careers being behind them, competitive spirit never dies.

“Lindsay has been trash talking over Twitter already so that will get me focused and ready to have a bit of fun on court,” she said.

“I don’t get to play too often now so I am raring to go, I am good friends with Lindsay so it will be great to see her but hopefully I’ll get the upper hand when we’re playing.

“Eastbourne holds a special place in my heart because it is the set of my last tournament victory, my 60th title, and was always a successful place for me – plus I always thought the grass courts were second to none.

“If you asked me to play in any tournament again, apart from Grand Slams, I would have always picked Eastbourne so I can’t wait to get back and experience it again – I’m genuinely really excited.”

Stubbs also took time to mention her strong support for the Sports Charter, a government drive to stamp out homophobia and transphobia in sport, as last month the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) encouraged colleagues, volunteers and players such as Elena Baltacha and Anne Keothavong to also sign.

The LTA were a founding signatory to the Sports Charter, signing up in February 2011. The LTA continue to promote the charter and an inclusive and welcoming tennis environment through community events, clubs and training. Stubbs, who has been openly gay for six years, has seen a number of sports stars open up about their sexuality in recent years and supported the LTA’s move to further their support for gay sportsmen and women.

“I think it is very important, it is a new sort of civil rights which is the way I feel about it,” she added.

“The Sports Charter is a great initiative. Over the years attitudes in sport have certainly changed and things are definitely moving in the right direction.”

Tickets for the Aegon International are now on sale and can be purchased from www.aegoninternational.co.uk/tickets or by calling 0844 581 3015.