By Derren Howard
Tournament organisers were delighted this week as they welcomed record crowds to the Eastbourne International.
An impressive 51,085 tickets were sold and 81,500 piled through the gates to watch some of the world’s finest players in perfect summer conditions.
Once in the ground, Pimms was the beverage of choice as 12,500 glasses were sold and 2,500 jugs. Fans munched 8,000 sandwiches and 630 kilos of strawberries. On the court, 10,000 tennis balls were used in matches and practice.
Tournament director Gavin Fletcher said, “By the end of the event we will have welcomed more than 50,000 patrons through the gates - a record for the tournament - and enjoyed some of the best weather in the event’s history.
“Devonshire Park is at its best when the grounds are filled with fans enjoying world class tennis under sunny skies and we’ve certainly been able to deliver both in 2018.
“Some of the best players in the world have competed here this week, and it has been great to see our British talent performing so well on home soil.
“The addition of our new show court Number 2 has been warmly received by fans and I have to congratulate our grounds team, led by Head Groundsman Danny Negus, for preparing what are widely acknowledged by the players as some of the best grass courts in the world.
“Tickets for the 2019 Nature Valley International went on sale last Monday and are already making plans for next year’s event.
“I want to thank the fans, and the wider Eastbourne public for their ongoing support of this event as the 44th edition of the tournament draws to a close.”