Sports Listings: Plan Ahead: Tennis tournaments in the run-up to Wimbledon

THE tournaments in the run-up to Wimbledon provide the spectator with the chance to watch the world's leading tennis players hone their grass game for the Championships.

Five such tournaments offer the pace and the competition, and already Pete Sampras, Stefan Edberg, Goran Ivanisevic and Boris Becker are among the entry at the Stella Artois Grass Court Championships in London, while Martina Navratilova, in her final year on the women's tour, defends her title at the Volkswagen Cup in Eastbourne; and entry lists have not yet closed. The first tournament is the Direct Line Insurance Tennis at Beckenham, starting at the end of May.

The main qualifying competition for the Championships creates its own atmosphere and is held from 13 to 17 June at the Bank of England Sports Club, Priory Lane, Roehampton, London SW15, and is open to the public. The Championships are from 20 June to 3 July.

Direct Line Insurance Tennis at Beckenham, men and women, 30 May-5 June (Qualifying 29 May).

Beckenham Cricket Club, Fox Grove Road, Beckenham, Kent (Tel: 081-658 8440). Admission: Qualifying free, Monday pounds 6, Tuesday pounds 7, Wednesday and Thursday pounds 9, Friday pounds 11, Saturday and Sunday pounds 15. Accompanied children under-16 half-price Monday to Thursday. Weekend ticket pounds 27. Season ticket pounds 50 adults, pounds 40 children under-16. Postal bookings are open; personal callers from 14 April.

Stella Artois Grass Court Championships, men, 6-12 June (qualifying 4 and 5 June), Queen's Club, Palliser Road, West Kensington, London W14 (Tel: 071-385 3421).

Admission: Qualifying free; Monday pounds 17; Tuesday: pounds 18; Wednesday pounds 19; Thursday pounds 24; Friday pounds 30; Saturday and Sunday pounds 35. Remaining tickets outside priority bookings from members and public ballots go on sale from 8 April (Hotline 081-982 6060).

DFS Classic, women, 6-12 June (qualifying 4 and 5 June), Priory Club, Sir Harry's Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham (021-440 2492).

Admission: Qualifying free; Monday and Tuesday pounds 4; Wednesday pounds 6; Thursday pounds 7; Friday pounds 9; Saturday pounds 12; Sunday pounds 14. Season ticket pounds 40. Tickets available from Birmingham Convention and Visitors' Bureau, 2 City Arcade, Birmingham B2 4TX (Tel: 021-643 2514).

Manchester Open, men, 13-18 June (qualifying 11 and 12 June), Northern Lawn Tennis Club, Palatine Road, West Didsbury, Manchester (Tel: 061-445 3093).

Admission: Enquiries to the club.

Volkswagen Cup, women, 13-18 June (qualifying 11 and 12 June), Devonshire Park, College Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex (Tel: 0323-412000).

Admission: Qualifying pounds 4 daily; Monday pounds 7.50- pounds 11; Tuesday pounds 8.50- pounds 1; Wednesday pounds 10- pounds 13; Thursday: pounds 12- pounds 14.50; Friday: pounds 15- pounds 16; Saturday pounds 16- pounds 18. Season ticket pounds 66- pounds 79. Bookings are open.

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