Nottingham Open, the popular Wimbledon warm-up event, has had a chequered past but as a grass court tournament often attracts some of the big hitters from both the ATP and WTA Tours.

When the Manchester Open tournament was scrapped, the Nottingham Open was born in 1970 with just a men’s event. US superstar Stan Smith was crowned the inaugural champion, courtesy of a straight set success over compatriot Chauncey Steele.

Due to the combined popularity from fans, sponsors and television rights, the event became a mini-Wimbledon the following year with American Julie Heldman and Chilean Jaime Fillol Sr victorious in thrilling finals.

The legendary US ace Billie Jean King reached the 1972 and 1973 finals, but shared the title with Australian Evonne Goolagong because of a rain-affected final before returning the following year to narrowly see off British no.1 Virginia Wade.

Despite the interest the ladies’ event was axed while in contrast the men’s tournament was upgraded to the highly prestigious Grand Prix Super Series.

Billie Jean King reached the 1972 and 1973 finals

Smith enjoyed being the centre of attention, returning with aplomb to wow the Centre Court crowds and capture the 1974 trophy. The following year Holland’s Tom Okker saw off Australian Tony Roche in a three-set thriller.

There were no such thrills in the next two finals with the top prize shared. US icon Jimmy Connors and temperamental Romanian Ilie Năstase started the third set before rain put paid to declaring a 1976 champion. And Fillol was back in action in a final in 1977, only for his showdown with American doubles specialist Tim Gullikson to be abandoned because of rain.

Surprisingly the Nottingham Open was discontinued, with the ATP Tour returning after a 17-year hiatus in 1995, with the WTA Tour back in business in 2015.

Such big names from the ATP Tour, all familiar faces at The Championships, lifted the trophy at Nottingham including Jonas Björkman (Sweden), Richard Gasquet (France), Ivo Karlović (Croatia) and Greg Rusedski (Great Britain).

Yet the Nottingham Open was cancelled for the 2009 season and did not return until 2015, alongside the WTA Tour’s reappearance in the city, when Denis Istomin (Uzbekistan) and Ana Konjuh (Croatia) became the latest champions respectively.

American Steve Johnson and Czech Republic’s Karolína Plíšková won the 2016 crowns ahead of Wimbledon, but because of the lack of leading players in the men’s event the tournament was downgraded to a ATP Challenger competition in 2017. It has remained at this level with David Sela (2017, Israel), Alex de Minaur (2018, Australia) and Dan Evans (2019, Great Britain) crowned champions respectively.

2019 Women’s champion Caroline Garcia

The WTA Tour had much more profile winners in the shape of Donna Vekić (2017, Croatia), Ashleigh Barty (2018, Australia) and Caroline Garcia (2019, France).

With the 2020 editions cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the return to Nottingham for 2021 offers a mouthwatering main draw of 48 in both the men’s and ladies editions.

WTA TOUR YEARWINNERRUNNER-UPRESULT
2020Cancelled due to COVID
2019Caroline GarciaDonna Vekić2–6 7–6(4) 7–6(4)
2018Ashleigh BartyJohanna Konta6–3 3–6 6–4
2017Donna VekićJohanna Konta2–6 7–6(3) 7–5
2016Karolína PlíškováAlison Riske7–6(8) 7–5
2015Ana KonjuhMonica Niculescu1–6 6–4 6–2
1973Billie Jean King Virginia Wade8–6 6–4
1972Billie Jean King Evonne GoolagongNo winner | Abandoned
1971Julie Heldman Barbara Hawcroft6–4 7–9 6–3
Women’s
ATP TOUR YEARWINNERRUNNER-UPRESULT
2020Cancelled due to COVID
2019Dan EvansEvgeny Donskoy7–6(3) 6-3
2018Alex de MinaurDan Evans7–6(4) 7-5
2017David SelaThomas Fabbiano4–6 6–4 6–3
2016Steve JohnsonPablo Cuevas7–6(5) 7-5
2015Denis IstominSam Querrey7–6(1) 7-6(6)
2008Ivo Karlović Fernando Verdasco7–5 6–7(4) 7–6(6)
2007Ivo Karlović Arnaud Clément3–6 6–4 6–4
2006Richard GasquetJonas Björkman6–4 6–3
2005Richard GasquetMax Mirnyi6–2 6–3
2004Paradorn Srichaphan Thomas Johansson1–6 7–6(4) 6–3
2003Greg RusedskiMardy Fish6–3 6–2
2002Jonas BjörkmanWayne Arthurs6–2 6–7(5) 6–2
2001Thomas JohanssonHarel Levy7–5 6–3
2000Sébastien GrosjeanByron Black7–6(7) 6–3
1999Cédric PiolineKevin Ullyett6–3 7–5
1998Jonas BjörkmanByron Black6–3 6–2
1997Greg RusedskiKarol Kučera6–4 7–5
1996Jan SiemerinkSandon Stolle6–3 7–6(0)
1995Javier FranaTodd Woodbridge7–6(4) 6–3
1977Jaime FillolTim GulliksonNo winner | Abandoned
1976Jimmy ConnorsIlie NăstaseNo winner | Abandoned
1975 Tom OkkerTony Roche6–1 3–6 6–3
1974Stan SmithAlex Metreveli6–3 1–6 6–3
1973Eric van DillenFrew McMillan3–6 6–1 6–1
1972Geoffrey MastersPremjit LallNo winner | Abandoned
1971Jaime FillolGreg Perkins6–2 6–3
1970Stan SmithChauncey Steele6–3 6–1
Men’s