Top 10 moments from the grass-court tournament at the Edgbaston Priory Club:
Alexandra Stevenson’s mother causes a scene. When Alexandra Stevenson was beaten at the 2001 tournament, her mother Samantha, a former sportswriter with the New York Times, ripped down articles from the Club’s walls which had upset her. Samantha had already caught the eye of the media after telling a pianist to stop playing in a hospitality tent during her daughter’s match.
Drunken Damir Dokic. Jelena Dokic’s father, Damir, was arrested for his “own safety” in 1999 after jumping on a car, sprawling on the road and blocking traffic. Prior to this outlandish behaviour, Damir had suggested that the members of the Edgbaston Priory Club were “Nazis who supported the bombing of Yugoslavia”.
Please turn it down, Maria. When a 16-year-old Russian named Maria Sharapova appeared at the Priory Club in 2003, little was known about her tennis. An umpire on the next door court to Sharapova’s summoned tournament officials to implore the teenager to keep it down. “I’ve been doing it since I was four and it’s automatic,” Sharapova said of her grunting. “I can’t help it and I can’t stop doing it.”
A helicopter interrupts Maria Sharapova’s match: Sharapova was playing Marion Bartoli in the semi-finals of the 2007 tournament when an air-ambulance landed on one of the nearby courts. The helicopter’s crew was there to assist a woman who had fallen down a metal staircase and knocked herself out, and a man who had fainted.
Pam Shriver’s dominance. Shriver won four titles in a row between 1984 and 1987. The American said it wasn’t as straightforward as it looked: the only easy part of her victories was “shaking hands at the net”.
Maria Sharapova wins the title. A 17-year-old Sharapova won the title in the Midlands in 2004, and then, three weeks later, became the Wimbledon champion.
Singles final cancelled because of rain. The tournament called it “inclement weather”; the weather was so bad in 1998 that the final was not played.
Li Na defeats Maria Sharapova in the final. “Last year I beat Maria and then was so excited I forgot I had another match,” Li said after her victory in the 2010 final. “I’m excited again. If I had another match this time, I think I would probably lose that too.”
Vera Zvonareva and Jamea Jackson confuse the scoreboard operator: It was the 2006 final, and when the score reached 10-9 the ball-boy operating the scoreboard became confused as there were no double digits, causing a small delay. Zvonareva won that first-set tiebreak 14-12, and also took the second set in a tiebreak, 7-5.
American dominance: In the 1980s and 1990s, it was rare to see anyone from outside America holding up the trophy.