Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 26 JUNE
Ipek Senoglu was the first Turkish woman to compete in a Grand Slam doubles qualifying event, appearing at Wimbledon in 2004 and besides making sporting history for her country, she also provided the debut tour win for British No.1 Johanna Konta, who registered her 300th victory yesterday, beating Tara Moore to reach the second round of the Nottingham Open.
Konta had no idea she had reached that significant mark in her career which has seen her surge into the world’s top 10 and also could not remember who had been her first “scalp” in 2007. Ten years ago it was Senoglu, who was beaten at Redbridge in Essex in an ITF hard court tournament.
While Konta has gone on to become one of the world’s top players – she is currently ranked No.8 – Senoglu has been retired for some time having had limited success in doubles at all four Grand Slams and also took part in a unique “hit” with Venus Williams on the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul, the first tennis match ever to be played across two continents.
Konta cannot match that feat but her on-court tennis is hugely impressive and the 26-year-old was leading 6-2, 3-0 against fellow Brit Moore when her opponent was forced to quit by injury. With Wimbledon looming, Konta is keen to get as much grass court tennis as possible and is excited about this time of the year.
She explained: "The grass court season is a great period for all us Brits and I love the fact that I drive to Eastbourne and Wimbledon and not have to get on a plane to travel to the tournament. I get to stay at home for both of those tournaments and it is a lucky position to be in. I am quite spoilt in that sense and it really is a great time of the season and grass is an exciting and enjoyable surface and I want to make the most of it and play as many matches as I can.”
Konta now plays play Belgian Yanina Wickmayer in the second round who beat her at Birmingham on grass last year and she admitted:” Yanina did get the better of me then and she can be very dangerous on this surface.”
Heather Watson lost 6-2, 6-3 to American Alison Riske, the world No.43, who was far more consistent with her groundstrokes in a match that left the British No.2 frustrated. Watson, now world No.113, had beaten Riske in their previous two meetings on hard courts and had arrived in Nottingham having reached the Surbiton final where she lost to Slovakia's Magdalena Rybarikova.
Watson is hoping for a wild card into the Wimbledon ladies' singles and also the Birmingham event, and is determined to move up the rankings to ensure she claims direct entry at the US Open.
Fifth seed Lucie Safarova beat America’s Grace Min 6-3, 6-7,6-2 while GB Fed Cup partners Laura Robson and Jocelyn Rae teamed up to defeat Su-Wei Hsieh and Magda Linette in the first round of the Nottingham women's doubles.
British No.6 Cameron Norrie had a great first round battle with France’s Kenny de Schepper with both left handers showing plenty of power. Norrie was born in Johannesburg, brought up by British parents in New Zealand and moved to London as a teenager. He has been studying in America and announced himself on the professional circuit beating world No.71 Malek Jaziri in Surbiton last week.
Norrie competed strongly in the groundstroke battle but could not match the 130mph serving of the French player who took it 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 after more than two hours on court. There was British men’s success with qualifier Lloyd Glasspool reaching the last 16 after a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Japanese fifth seed Go Soeda and wild card Brydan Klein beat Alex De Minaur 7-6, 6-3.
“Of course there have been conversations about defending the title – we will be trying to get another one!” Heather Watson on defending the Wimbledon mixed doubles title she won with Henri Kontinen last year, beating No.15 seeds, Robert Farah, of Colombia, and Anna-Lena Groenefeld, of Germany.