During the past week, I made my first ever visit to the Nature Valley International tournament in Eastbourne. With Wimbledon the following week, Eastbourne offers WTA and ATP players one final week of grass-court competition, whilst providing spectators the chance to get up close to some of the world’s biggest names.
I might have chose the best year to attend, with the likes of Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber in action, but I have to say Eastbourne is one of the most enjoyable tournaments I have visited. If you haven’t been before, I would definitely recommend it to any tennis fan. Those of us who live in the North of England aren’t blessed with many opportunities to watch top-level professional tennis in our area but Eastbourne is definitely worth the trip.
The combination of sunshine, seaside and the opportunity to watch players compete and practice up close, Eastbourne provides tennis fans an intimate experience and even the qualifying rounds on the opening weekend are very well attended. Having the chance to watch Murray and Kyle Edmund practice together on Court 5 on the first Sunday of the event was something many fans will never forget.
My attendance at the tournament was in a professional capacity, rather than as a spectator. Working for HEAD in partnership with Intersport Lincoln, along with the other major brands we provided the retail zone for the tournament giving spectators the chance to purchase the latest tennis rackets, clothing, footwear and equipment. It was an extremely busy but enjoyable week and the retail opportunity certainly added to the tournament experience for the spectators. The fans certainly appreciated the chance to see products up close and to ask the advice of the brands’ representatives, particularly when purchasing new rackets.
My seven days at Devonshire Park came to an end on the Thursday and I headed back up north on the train but I am certainly looking forward to going back again next year.