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8 - 16 June 2019

Nature Valley Open

Nottingham Tennis Centre

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Nature Valley Open: Qualifier Moore joins 11 Brits in main draw

  • 2019 WTA International logo
  • ATP Challenger Tour logo
  • 09/06/2019

  • Major Events

Tara Moore won two matches in one day to qualify for the main draw and join 11 Brits in the first round of the Nature Valley Open, which begins on Monday at the Nottingham Tennis Centre.

Fed Cup stars Harriet Dart, 22, and Katie Swan, 20, will play their first WTA-level matches on home soil since gaining Great Britain promotion to the World Group II in April. Dart faces Belarusian Vera Lapko first on Court 1 before wild card Swan’s match against Bernarda Pera of the United States.

WTA International main draw debutante and fellow wild card Naiktha Bains, 21, will be first to take to Centre Court against French top seed Caroline Garcia from midday, as wild card Liam Broady and Davis Cup winner James Ward start their ATP Challenger campaigns against Italy’s Stefano Napolitano and German Tobias Kamke respectively on the main stage.

Both second seed Donna Vekic, who lifted the 2017 title in the East Midlands, and 2015 Nottingham runner-up Monica Niculescu will also be in action, while promising British teenagers Paul Jubb and Jack Draper will be looking for their maiden ATP-level victories at the LTA grass court event.

Though there were losses in qualifying on Sunday for Freya Christie, Eden Silva and Sarah Beth Grey, American Danielle Lao saved four match points on the way to beating Jessika Ponchet of France 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-3 to move into the main draw alongside Moore, Ellen Perez, Elena-Gabriella Ruse, Liudmila Samsonova and Magdalena Frech.

Earlier, Moore had defeated second qualifying seed Tereza Martincova 6-4, 6-2 before her final qualifying round opponent Giulia Gatto-Monticone retired through injury with Moore leading 5-4. The 26-year-old is scheduled to play on Tuesday and is hoping to at least replicate her impressive run to the quarter-finals at Nottingham in 2016.

“Obviously, it’s not the way that I’d like to win, especially with Giulia being such a nice girl,” Moore said. "But I’ve been really happy with my tennis. I love grass - Nottingham’s basically home for me. And I’ve really enjoyed playing out here, the crowds are great.

“I’ve done well here before, and I know that the courts really suit me, so it’s nice to just play some good tennis.”

Monday will also be Charity Day at the Nottingham Tennis Centre, where 50 per cent of all gate receipts will be donated to local charity Rainbow’s Hospice for Children and Young People.

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Watch world class tennis in Nottingham and secure your seat today - Centre Court tickets are available from £21 per person (£21 for children under 16).  

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