Wimbledon marathon man Mahut in action at Sports Training Village today

22 March 2011

Wimbledon “marathon man” Nicolas Mahut, of France, takes to the Sports Training Village courts today in the AEGON GB Pro-Series at the University of Bath and hopes for an easier first-round ride than the tense three-set victory experienced by Russia’s Dmitry Tursunov yesterday.

Mahut takes on Jan Hernych of the Czech Republic as fourth match on court 1, offering spectators a chance to see the man who set a record for the longest ever match at Wimbledon last year. Entry to the Sports Training Village for the event is free of charge.

Lucky spectators yesterday gasped as Tursunov, third seed and former top 20 player, battled point by point in three tough sets with Ruben Bemelmans of Belgium before shading the final set tie-break to win by 4-6, 6-4, 7-6.

“The quality of the tennis was superb in phases”, said Chris Matthews, part of the organising team at the event.

Tursunov’s reward is a second round encounter, on Wednesday, with British no.3 Dan Cox. He won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 against British wildcard entry Josh Milton.

Further Britons who are in the men’s main draw round one are Alex Ward, who came through qualifying, and Dan Evans and Dan Smethurst who were both awarded wild cards.

All three are in action today with Ward taking on Swiss qualifier Michael Lammer, Evans drawn against the Irish eighth seed and world No.135 Conor Niland and Smethurst taking on Ludovic Walter of France.

In the women’s singles event the qualifying was completed on Monday and Naomi Broady and Mel South both won their final rounds to reach the main draw.

Broady defeated Karen Barbat of Denmark 6-2, 6-2 and in round one of the main draw she will face Severine Beltrame of France, the world No.210 and former world No.34.

Mel South took on her compatriot, 17 year old Francesca Stephenson, in round two of qualifying and won 6-2, 6-0 and in the main draw South will play the sixth seed and world No.165 Mona Barthel of Germany. The round one match is a repeat of the meeting between the two players in Nottingham last year which the German won across three tight sets.

Also lining up in round one of the women’s main draw and four British wild cards Katy Dunne, Nicola George, Lucy Brown and Jade Windley.

Dunne and George will face each other, Lucy Brown play Spanish qualifier Lara Arruabarrena-Vecino and Windley will take on Audrey Bergot of France.

Also in the main draw is British No.4 Katie O’Brien who plays French qualifier Claire Feuerstein and their match will be played on Wednesday.


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.

British Tennis
• AEGON is Lead Partner of British Tennis, and supports the game at all levels from grassroots programmes such as AEGON Schools Tennis and AEGON Parks Tennis, through to supporting British talent in the AEGON FutureStars programme and Team AEGON. It is also title sponsor for the British Tennis Series, of grass court tournaments, including the AEGON Championships at Queen’s Club. For further information click here.
• The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is working to improve competitive opportunities for players of all levels and ages, including those aged 16-years-old and over, for example through the club v club AEGON Team Tennis competition, and events such as the AEGON GB Pro Series
• Increasing the number of junior players competing regularly, that is those players who compete six or more times a year, is also a key priority for the LTA. This has increased from 8,000 to more than 40,000 over the past four years, an increase of 450%.

For further information (media only) contact: The Team Bath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 443998 or press@matchtight.co.uk

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