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Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 12:46 UK

Wimbledon warm-up event scrapped

Eric Butorac and Jamie Murray (right) celebrate winning the Nottingham Open in 2007
Jamie Murray (right) was a British winner in 2007 at Nottingham

The build-up to Wimbledon will have a different look from 2009, with a new joint men's and women's tournament planned for Eastbourne.

The LTA is changing the calendar as it looks for an "umbrella sponsor".

Nottingham's ATP event will be discontinued after this year, and from 2009 the men will join the women's grass-court event in Eastbourne.

In 2010, the venue for the Birmingham women's event will be determined by a bidding process.

Eastbourne is the UK's biggest women's tournament after Wimbledon.

606: DEBATE

Nottingham has been going since 1995, but the Lawn Tennis Association are keen to attract "a younger crowd" to Eastbourne, according to BBC Radio 5 Live tennis correspondent Jonathan Overend.

Roger Draper, chief executive of the LTA, said: "The new, co-ordinated calendar will help raise the profile of the sport nationally and enhance the experience for fans, players and spectators.

"We are confident that the changes will help to re-energise the calendar and open up the sport to a new audience as well as offering a better experience for existing fans.

"The bidding process in 2010 further opens up the calendar and means that new venues have the option of bidding to host world-class tennis.

"This is at the heart of the LTA's new commercial strategy where we hope to position a lead partner as the umbrella sponsor of British tennis.

"The commercial strategy is bringing together all elements of the sport from schools to elite players and provides a real opportunity for us to build a strong partnership with a brand."

Jamie Murray claimed the 2007 doubles at Nottingham with Eric Butorac, while Ivo Karlovic took the singles - a title won twice by Greg Rusedski.

Justine Henin beat Amelie Mauresmo to win the 2007 Eastbourne title.

In 2010, the venue for the women's tournament currently held in Birmingham will be determined by a bidding process.


see also
Jamie Murray wins in Nottingham
23 Jun 07 |  Tennis
Angry Gasquet out of Nottingham
22 Jun 07 |  Tennis


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