Former British No.1 and popular sports personality Greg Rusedski will christen the new home of Liverpool tennis in June, when he will grace the courts at the historic Liverpool Cricket Club for the 2014 Liverpool Hope International Tennis Tournament.
Tournament Director Anders Borg announced headline players at a press conference at the club today [26th March], which also includes seven-times singles and nineteen-times doubles champion, Aussie Peter McNamara; and Sweden’s Mikael Pernfors, who reached the Final of the French Open and won the Canada Masters in Montreal in 1993
Also returning to Liverpool for the festival this year will be the highly celebrated Virginia Wade OBE, the only British woman in history to have won titles at all four Grand Slam tournaments. Wimbledon winner in 1977, Ms Wade also held the record of being the last British tennis player to have won a Grand Slam singles tournament for some 35 years.
Wade, a firm favorite with tennis aficionados, has previously attracted record numbers of spectators, and it is anticipated that this year’s sensational pairing with Rusedski will see even more fans flocking to the festival.
Liverpool Cricket Club will this year host the tournament, which will run from June 18-22 and is the largest tennis exhibition in Europe. The last tennis tournament to be held at the club was in 1954, so this year’s tournament sees the sport returning to its original home in Liverpool after exactly 60 years.
The tournament, sponsored by Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Hope University, is one of the most popular sporting events in the North West. During the lead up to the event, school children and business representatives will be invited to be involved in a three-week Festival of Tennis to encourage wider participation in the sport.
Anders Borg, Director of the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament, said: “The Festival of Tennis will allow youngsters across the city to get involved in tennis and engage with the game for life.
“Over 2000 local school children signed up to our kids only day last year, and for many it was their first experience of the sport. Children who do sign up will have an opportunity to meet real life tennis legends and we hope that this might inspire a new generation to pursue a career in tennis.
“It is a fantastic fete to be able to include Greg Rusedski in the line up of players for this year’s tournament, and of course we’re delighted to be welcoming back Virginia Wade. We are really looking forward to welcoming all of the players to Liverpool and to watching some great live action. “2014 is shaping up to be an incredible year for us, with support from world class players and still many more ATP and WTA players to be confirmed in May.”
an McKenna, Director of Development at Liverpool Hope University, said: “We are thrilled to be sponsoring the Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament for the second year running. It represents a fantastic opportunity for our students, especially those studying sport-related subjects and members of the tennis team, to be involved a world-class event and to work with sporting-industry professionals at a tournament so near to our campuses.
“This year’s event will have a particularly exciting edge as it coincides with the International Festival for Business. We are looking forward to being involved again with the Festival of Tennis at Chavasse Park and welcoming members of the region’s business community to the gala dinner to present the winners with the Corporate Doubles trophy.”
Assistant Mayor and cabinet member responsible for sport and leisure, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “The Liverpool Hope International Tennis Tournament has become one of the highlights of the sporting calendar in Liverpool for local people, the business community and visitors to our city and we look forward to being part of it again in 2014.
“The line up for this year’s tournament is phenomenal, what a privilege it is to welcome such legends of the sport to our city. “That we can also use this as an opportunity to promote better, healthier lifestyles to children, young people and members of our community through the Festival of Tennis is fantastic and we hope that we can help to encourage lots of people to be involved.”
The Liverpool Hope International Tennis Tournament is this year part of the UK’s inaugural International Festival for Business (IFB), which takes place in Liverpool and the city region for 50 days in June and July. Backed by the government IFB will be a global showcase for great British industry across multiple sectors, and will champion UK businesses to new markets, new products and new partners.
Comprising over 200 world-class events, the festival is a key part of the government’s ambition to promote economic growth, rebalance the economy and double UK exports by 2020. Building on this partnership, the Liverpool Hope International Tennis team have launched a discount scheme for members of the IFB Business Club. (www.ifb2014/register.aspx)
Director at Marketing Liverpool, Chris Brown said: “Sport is an important part of Liverpool life and the International Tennis tournament is one of the highlights of the city’s summer calendar. It being part of IFB is part of our recognition of the contribution that sport makes to our economy. “We look forward to working with Anders and the team on what we are sure will be a fantastic festival this year and will be promoting it to our IFB Business Club members.”
For more information on the event, ticket prices and sponsorship and hospitality opportunities, please call on 0151 227 5940 or email to email@example.com