Grass court players prepare to start season

Grass court season is nearly upon us, with the Surbiton Trophy event about to start up.

Grass court season is nearly upon us, with the Surbiton Trophy event about to start up.

Ireland's Karen Nugent – the lowest-ranked player in the tournament at 615 – has qualified to face American Kelly McCain, the fifth seed.

He £25,000 (€37,500) men’s tournament is unlikely to get going until Tuesday. Ivo Karlovic – last year’Ts shock Wimbledon conqueror of favourite Lleyton Hewitt - lines up against Sweden’s Thomas Johansson, the 2002 Australian Open winner and a player who reached a career-best ranking of seven before injury ruled him out for the whole of the 2003 season.

First, though it is ladies day at Surbiton, with eight singles matches scheduled and Puerto Rican Kristina Brandi defending her title against the likes of American Alexandra Stevenson, Japan’s Akiko Morigami and British challengers Elena Baltacha, Emily Webley-Smith, Anne Keothavong, Melanie Southy, Amanda Janes and Jane O’Donoghue.

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