UK-bound for some grass court tennis!

Watching Venus practice at Eastbourne 2011
The chance to head to England to see grass court tennis is something I just can't pass up, and as the month of June conveniently falls during my time in between jobs I am heading over later this week.

First up is Eastbourne. I attended this tourney in 2011 and LOVED IT. I seriously rate it as my fave tourney outside the slams (at least from those I have attended). The town itself is beautiful, the grounds are small and all the players and practice sessions are very accessible.

In 2011, I was spoiled though as the tourney marked the return of Serena Williams from her nearly-year long absence, and also the return of her big sis Venus after an injury layoff. Here are some pics from my trip two years ago.

Li Na, Eastbourne 2011
The superstar sisters will not be in Eastbourne this time around, but the field is stellar. The top three WTAers are missing, but the field boasts 2012 Wimbledon runner up Agnieszka Radwanska, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki, Nadia Petrova and Maria Kirilenko.

I was stoked to hear that late entries included Li Na and Sam Stosur. Of course, this isn't just a WTA tourney (which I had totally forgotten about in 2011) so there will be some men, led by Giles Simon and Juan Monaco.

I'll be attending at least the first three days before I visit family and friends, and then it's onto Wimbledon. I'll be queuing, so....there's that. I am determined to see Serena play on the first Tuesday, and hopefully see Rafa. I do not look forward to sleeping in the queue, but I will do what is required.

This will be the first tourney I've attended in ages in which I will be a tennis fan and not have media or tournament credentials. As much as I LOVE the chance to cover the tourney or get such special access, I'm excited to be a tennis fan and nothing else. I'll blog when I can, and if you're planning to attend feel free to tweet me at @stephintheus.

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