Nottingham, UK, 7 June 2021 | Leigh Rogers

The grass-court season is the favourite part of the year for many of Australia’s top-ranked players. This year’s grass-court swing, which begins this week with events in the United Kingdom and Germany, also marks the first chance in two years that our professional players have had an opportunity to play on grass. All grass-court tournaments were cancelled last year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Nottingham, UK

Maddison Inglis’ tour return has ended with an opening-round loss at a WTA 250 tournament in Nottingham.

Dutch qualifier Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove recorded a 6-1 6-4 victory against the 23-year-old from Perth, who had not competed since making the second round as a qualifier at the Adelaide International in February.

Three more Australians – Astra Sharma, Lizette Cabrera and Arina Rodionova – are contesting singles at the grass-court tournament this week, while Ellen Perez and Storm Sanders headline the doubles draw.

Australia is also strongly represented at an ATP Challenger event being played concurrently in Nottingham this week, with Aleksandar Vukic and Matt Ebden advancing to the final qualifying round.

Thanasi Kokkinakis, one of three Australian men already in the singles main draw, has been handed a tough opening-round assignment. He plays top seed and world No.27 Dan Evans.

Aussies in action – Nottingham

Women’s singles, first round
[Q] Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove (NED) d Maddison Inglis (AUS) 6-1 6-4

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
[3] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) d Max Purcell (AUS) 6-1 4-1 ret.
[6] Matt Ebden (AUS) d [WC] Arthur Fery (GBR) 6-3 6-4
[7] Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) d John-Patrick Smith (AUS) 7-6(4) 6-3

Women’s singles, first round
Astra Sharma (AUS) v [WC] Francesca Jones (GBR)
Lizette Cabrera (AUS) v Wang Yafan (CHN)
Arina Rodionova (AUS) v Wang Xinyu (CHN)

Women’s doubles, first round
[1] Ellen Perez (AUS)/Zhang Shuai (CHN) v Lesley Pattinama Kerkhove (NED)/Sabrina Santamaria (USA)
[2] Storm Sanders (AUS)/Caroline Dolehide (USA) v Lauren Davis (USA)/Catherine McNally (USA)

Men’s singles, first round
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) v [1] Dan Evans (GBR)
Alex Bolt (AUS) v Liam Broady (GBR)
Marc Polmans (AUS) v Qualifier

Men’s qualifying singles, final round
[3] Aleksandar Vukic (AUS) v Igor Sijsling (NED)
[6] Matt Ebden (AUS) v [2] Viktor Troicki (SRB)

Men’s doubles, first round
[2] Matt Ebden (AUS)/John-Patrick Smith (AUS) v Evgeny Donskoy (RUS)/Kamil Majchrzak (POL)
Max Purcell (AUS)/Marc-Andrea Huesler (SUI) v Maxime Cressy (USA)/Andrea Vavassori (ITA)
Matt Reid (AUS)/Ken Skupski (GBR) v Mackenzie McDonald (USA)/Brandon Nakashima (USA)
Marc Polmans (AUS)/Artem Sitak (NZL) v [WC] Liam Broady (GBR)/Ryan Peniston (GBR)
[WC] Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS)/Jay Clarke (GBR) v Thomas Fabbiano (ITA)/Andreas Seppi (ITA)

Stuttgart, Germany

Australia’s James Duckworth and Chris O’Connell are attempting to qualify at an ATP 250 tournament on grass in Stuttgart this week.

Duckworth, who scored a career-first Roland Garros main draw win last week, faces top-seeded American Sam Querrey, while O’Connell plays Moldova’s Radu Albot.

Alex de Minaur, John Millman, Alexei Popyrin and Jordan Thompson will feature in main draw action later in the week.

Aussies in action – Stuttgart

Men’s qualifying singles, first round
James Duckworth (AUS) v [1] Sam Querrey (USA)
Chris O’Connell (AUS) v [7] Radu Albot (MDA)