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Rothesay International Eastbourne

Devonshire Park, Eastbourne 2025 dates TBC

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Katie Boulter smiling walking onto court at the Rothesay Classic Birmingham
International

Four big questions ahead of the Rothesay International Eastbourne 2024

• 3 MINUTE READ

Tennis heads to the South Coast for the Rothesay International Eastbourne. With some of the world's best players in action and lots to look forward to, here are four of our biggest questions ahead of this year's tournament.

Can the British No.1 continue title-winning form?

What a start it’s been for the Brits this grass court season. Katie Boulter managed to retain her Rothesay Open Nottingham trophy after defeating both Emma Raducanu and Karolina Pliskova on finals day.

Bolter will head to Eastbourne next week and will come in as one of the strong favourites to have good runs in the WTA 500.

Boulter exited in the first round of Eastbourne last year, so will have a free swing at a strong run without any ranking points to defend but one thing is for sure - the 27-year-old will want to continue to building her confidence against world class players on the grass ahead of Wimbledon the following week.

Will Rybakina reach her Wimbledon best?

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The highest ranked player at this year’s event will be world No.4 and 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan.

Rybakina is one of the four standout players on the WTA Tour right now – alongside Iga Swiatek, Aryna Sabalenka and Coco Gauff – and of the four, she’s got the best pedigree playing on the grass.

It’s easy to see why – her big serve and powerful groundstrokes are an absolute dream for any player on the surface and it came as a big advantage when she came from a set behind to win her first Grand Slam title against Ons Jabeur at SW19.

After a quarter-final finish and Wimbledon and third round at the US Open last year, Rybakina has been in brilliant form coming into the grass court season this time around. She’s won three titles already this year – Brisbane, Abu Dhabi and Stuttgart – which is her best return for a season so far and its only June.

Eastbourne will be only her second tournament on grass before heading to Wimbledon and you have to think given her weapons, she’ll be a favourite for the title.

Who are the dark horses for strong runs at Eastbourne?

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As you look down the entry list on both draws, there’s a lot to be excited about and plenty of players who can cause a surprise and upset.

World No.14 Daria Kastkina jumps off the page as someone who has had previous success on the British grass courts having made finals in both Birmingham and Eastbourne previously. Last year’s Rothesay Classic Birmingham runner-up Barbora Krejcikova will be one to watch and then while Ajla Tomljanovic is continuing her return from injury, the two-time Wimbledon quarter-finalist is well adapted to the surface.

Wild card Emma Raducanu will be someone every player will be trying to avoid in the draw. The young Brit was in brilliant form on a semi-final run at the Rothesay Open Nottingham – narrowly losing to Boulter in a tight contest – and has made the fourth round at Wimbledon before.

On the men’s side, there’s lots of rising talent. Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo comes in as reigning champion of course, with a former runner-up in Lorenzo Sonego further down the list and then there’s the mercurial talent of Alexander Bublik who is now at a career-high of world No.17.

Keep your eye out for young French talent Arthur Fils as well. While still yet to find his feet on the grass, 20-year-old Fils is regarded as one of the brightest young talents in the game.

Which wheelchair stars will shine in first grass court event of the season?

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For the first time this year, the Rothesay International Eastbourne will host men’s women’s and quad wheelchair ITF events ahead of the Lexus British Open Roehampton and Wimbledon.

The maiden grass court doubles event of the year will see a stellar cast head for Devonshire Park – including world No.1 Alfie Hewett, 2016 Paralympic gold medallist Gordon Reid, 17-time Grand Slam champion Andy Lapthorne and British No.1 Lucy Shuker.

Hewett and Reid have both had stellar starts to the 2024 campaign again – winning the Australian Open and Roland Garros doubles titles, while Hewett also finished runner-up in both singles. Reid is also a former Wimbledon singles champion, while Hewett as reached the final of the last two tournaments.

Lapthorne captured the Australian Open doubles title this year with David Wagner and also made the final at Roland Garros, while Shuker has won three ITF doubles trophies in 2024.

Britain’s rising stars will also be in action. Ben Bartram, Dahnon Ward and Andrew Penney are in the men’s draw, Abbie Breakwell is set for the women’s, while Greg Slade is in the quad draw.

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