Tennis met cricket in a battle of the sports at Trent Bridge on Monday, as a full-size tennis court was painted on the outfield for a doubles match with a difference.
While the opening day of main draw action at the Aegon Open Nottingham was about to get underway across the city, former England international cricketers Jonathan Trott and Paul Collingwood took on world No.8 – and tournament top seed – Johanna Konta and her GB Fed Cup team-mate Joss Rae at the famous cricket ground.
It was good to see how hard the girls serve, as well as playing alongside them.Jonathan Trott
Even the Aegon Open Nottingham’s ball crew made the trip to unfamiliar cricket territory to chase stray balls where normally cove drives would be unleased.
With the girls being sufficiently impressed with the forehand shots being played by two of the nation’s finest cricket names, the focus eventually switched to Trent Bridge’s traditional brand of action, as stumps were brought out and cricket bats picked up.
Collingwood and Trott, armed with junior-sized plastic cricket bats, defended their stumps from lightning serves from Konta and Rae.
Despite Collingwood’s best efforts, Johanna managed to strike his stumps twice in a row – but he remained all smiles, despite failing to protect his wicket.
The girls then took up their stances, Johanna adopting a slightly unorthodox backhand swing, trying to keep the boys from hitting their wickets.
Speaking after the event, Nottingham’s own Joss said: “I think their tennis was definitely better than our cricket!
Trott, who won an Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, added: “I haven’t played much tennis really. It was good to see how hard the girls serve, as well as playing alongside them.”