BT Sport has signed an agreement with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to cover this year’s showpiece summer grass court tournaments in the run up to The Championships, Wimbledon.
The deal will mean live coverage of some of the world’s best players playing in Britain on BT Sport for three weeks this summer.
BT Sport will show exclusive live coverage of the Aegon Classic WTA event, which takes place at The Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham from June 9 to 15. It will feature former world No.1 players Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, and last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki.
In the same week, BT Sport will share live coverage of the Aegon Championships ATP event at The Queen’s Club, London with the BBC. The current Aegon Championships and Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has confirmed he will return to try and join John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick as the only four-time winners of one of the most famous trophies in tennis. Hewitt, World No.5 Tomas Berdych, 2011 runner-up Jo Wilfried Tsonga and world No.12 Grigor Dimitrov have all signed up to play.
The following week, June 16 to 21, BT Sport will again share live coverage with the BBC to screen the ATP and WTA tournaments at the Aegon International at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne. The top seed will be world No.3, Agnieszka Radwanska with strong competition from the 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, and rising American Sloane Stephens.
On Sunday June 15, BT Sport will also show an all-star line-up of exhibition mixed doubles matches at the Aegon Championships and the Aegon Classic as British Tennis stages the “Rally for Bally” in memory of former British number one Elena Baltacha, who recently died from liver cancer.
Andy Murray and Aegon Championships Tournament Director Ross Hutchins will play on opposing mixed doubles teams at The Queen’s Club, while 18-time Grand Slam champion Martina Navratilova, Anne Keothavong, Tim Henman and Jamie Murray will all play in Birmingham. Proceeds will be split equally between the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis.
BT Sport will also support the LTA’s four Great British Tennis Weekends, which will see thousands of park sites and clubs up and down the country offer completely free opportunities to play the game. The four weekends will take place between May and July, before, during and after Wimbledon.