France’s Nicolas Mahut will be relieved to glance through the draw for this month’s AEGON ATP Challenger tournament at TeamBath and see that American John Isner doesn’t feature on the entry list.
Mahut battled out a marathon 183-game 11-hour and five-minute match with the American in the first round at Wimbledon last year, only to lose the final set 70-68 in a contest played out over three days.
The Challenger event, which takes places at the University of Bath from 19 to 27 March and is open to spectators for free, is scheduled to be Mahut’s first tournament in the UK since Wimbledon.
Mahut has since climbed from 148 to 93 in the men’s singles world rankings and is one of 22 players accepted into the main draw for the Bath tournament – the first time the University of Bath Sports Training Village has hosted a Challenger event.
The impressive entry list for the tournament also features Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov, currently ranked 104 in the world but who has a career high world ranking of 20. The Russian accounted for Tim Henman in the second round at Wimbledon in 2005.
Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller, world ranked 108, also features in the main draw. A former world number 59, he reached the quarter-finals of the US Open in 2008 until he ran into eventual winner Roger Federer.
The qualifying competition features Slovakia’s Miloslav Mecir, winner of the Chiswick Futures tournament last summer, and also son of Miloslav, who made a piece of history in 1988 by becoming the winner of the first men’s singles tennis titles at an Olympic Games.
Russia’s Nina Bratchikova is the highest ranked player in the ITF Pro-Circuit women’s tournament running alongside the Challenger, at 132. She already has a title under her belt this year after winning the women’s singles at the $25,000 Rabat tournament in Morocco last month.
Those two tournaments are preceded by two ITF Pro Circuit Futures, running from 14-20 March at the Sports Training Village. Slovakia’s Andrej Martin and Pavol Cervenak are the highest ranked players at 173 and 241, while Mecir also features in the main draw. Martin captured the men’s singles and doubles titles at the same tournament last year.
Former TeamBath player Richard Bloomfield is among British players in the main draw, while current TeamBath MCTA Tennis Academy players Richard Gabb and Marshall Tutu will aim to progress to the main draw through qualifying.
Britain’s Naomi Broady is the highest ranked woman in the tournament at 242 and the draw also features France’s Stephanie Vongsouthi, who won the women’s singles title at the Bath Futures in 2009.
The University of Bath
The University of Bath is one of the UK’s leading universities. Our Mission is to deliver world-class research and teaching, educating our graduates to become future leaders and innovators, and benefiting the wider population through our research, enterprise and influence. Our courses are innovative and interdisciplinary and we have an outstanding record of graduate employment. We are ranked in the UK top 15 of universities in The Guardian, Times, Sunday Times and Independent national tables.
The University of Bath is a member of The 1994 Group representing 19 of the UK’s leading student-focused research-intensive universities. Established in1994 it promotes excellence in university research and teaching.
The University features world-leading sports facilities at the Sports Training Village which fully open to members of the public, as well as University of Bath students and staff. Its facilities are also used by individual athletes and teams training for the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Team Bath MCTA Tennis Academy is one of the LTA’s four International High Performance Centre’s and is based at the University of Bath Sports Training Village. It offers a complete range of tennis from mini tennis for kids, recreational tennis through to performance tennis.