Emma Raducanu is amongst a number of talented British tennis stars competing this month in both ATP and WTA tournaments.
The 19-year-old will be playing for Great Britain in the Billie Jean Cup for the first time this year.
This competition fits into a busy tennis schedule, with several Britons up against the world’s best players from around the globe.
Coming into clay-court season, we take a look at some of the most exciting events this April and which English players are raring to perform.
Billie Jean King Cup Qualifiers (15th – 16th April)
The Billie Jean King Cup is the largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations involved.
Raducanu makes her debut for GB alongside Harriet Dart, Katie Swan and Sonay Kartal.
This talented team could help Britain become champions for the first time despite having reached the final four times.
They face Czech Republic who have won the tournament 11 times and are a dominant force in women’s tennis.
The winners from this competition will progress to the finals played in November.
Switzerland have already qualified this year as they reached the 2021 final, with Australia also receiving automatic qualification.
The Aussies replace last year’s champions the Russian Tennis Federation, who are suspended from the 2022 competition.
Monte-Carlo Masters (9th – 17th April) – Monte-Carlo Country Club
The Monte-Carlo Masters is part of the ATP Tour Masters 1000 and has been held in Monaco since 1897.
This year Dan Evans and Cam Norrie will be competing with all of the top 10 ATP singles ranked players.
This includes Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Matteo Berrettini, Felix Auger-Aliassime and more, totalling a 56-player event.
No British player has ever won the singles final in the Open era of tennis, which started in 1969.
Rafael Nadal is also amongst the player list and has claimed his name as one of the best in this competition.
Nadal won at Monte-Carlo consecutively eight times between 2005 and 2012, making him the only player to win eight consecutive titles in one tournament.
Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (16th – 24th April) – Porsche-Arena
Also known as the Stuttgart Open, the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix is the oldest women’s indoor tournament in Europe.
This is considered as a warm-up to the French Open and is also the first indoor clay event on the women’s WTA tour since 2009.
Raducanu competes alone this time as the only Brit in the main draw, with Heather Watson hoping to qualify.
Last year’s singles and doubles champion Ashleigh Barty is not on the player entry list this year after she announced her retirement.
This leaves the door wide open, although world number two Iga Swiatek and reigning French Open champion Aryna Sabalenka may think otherwise.
Barcelona Open (16th – 24th April) – Real Club de Tenis de Barcelona
The Barcelona Open is the oldest tennis tournament in Spain and is part of the ATP Tour 500.
Spaniard Nadal is amongst its’ stars having won the singles title 12 times and received following recognition in 2017.
This was when the centre court was renamed Pista Rafa Nadal or the Rafa Nadal Arena.
British singles players Norrie and Evans will compete next month against Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and more.
This tournament is one of many which has never seen a British player appear in the singles final.
Madrid Open (26th April – 8th May) – La Caja Magica
Otherwise known as the Madrid Masters, the Madrid Open is part of the ATP Tour Masters 1000 and WTA 1000.
Liverpool-born Neal Skupski and Dutch teammate Wesley Koolhof are two key players involved.
The doubles team lost to fellow Brit Joe Salisbury and his teammate Rajeev Ram earlier this month.
This led to their exit in the quarterfinals of the Indian Wells tournament.
Salisbury is included in the Madrid competition, coming in at ATP doubles rank number two, and may face British competition.
Evans, with teammate Karen Khachanov, and Jamie Murray, alongside Bruno Soares, will be hoping for silverware this time out.
All four of these Brits crashed out in separate teams during the first-round last year.
Evans will also compete in the singles tournament, in addition to Norrie, against players such as Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Tsitsipas.
Andy Murray, who is missing out on clay court season this year, is the only Brit to have won, both in 2015 and 2008.
As for the women’s competition, the line-up is yet to be confirmed on the tournament website.
(Feature image provided under creative commons license by Peter Menzel @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/)