SOME of Britain's best tennis players will be in the North-East next week as the National Premier League (NPL) finals are staged in the region.

The team doubles event, which was first staged in 2002, takes place between April 25 and April 28 at Tennis World in Middlesbrough and David Lloyd Teesside in Stockton.

The NPL is the highest standard winter tennis league in Great Britain. More than 100 teams from across the country have qualified to take part in the finals, and will be battling it out for a share of the £19,000 prize fund.

A number of world ranked players are expected to compete as part of the event, with previous years having seen Wimbledon stars Jamie Murray, Jonny Marray and Pat Cash compete.

Final team line ups for this year have yet to be confirmed, but leading British players Marcus Willis, Liam Broady, Lee Childs, Anna Smith and Mel South are all expected to be in action during the four days.

Mike Dixon, tournament director for National Premier League Tennis, said: “We’re really excited to be staging this event in the North East. We want to encourage any local sports fans to come along and take the opportunity to enjoy the exciting team tennis format that will be on show – it’s a great value day out and you won’t be disappointed.

“I’d like to thank Tees Valley Combined Authority, Middlesbrough Council and the LTA for their support of the event, as well as both Tennis World and David Lloyd Teesside, our lead sponsors Beaumont Accountancy and also Dunlop Sports. We’re particularly pleased this year to have worked with the LTA to introduce the new women’s league for the first time, and to have Judy Murray visiting to help us launch that.”

Tees Valley Combined Authority’s Chief Executive, Julie Gilhespie, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting this world-class tournament which has joined an impressive calendar of big-ticket events – sporting and otherwise – that will make Tees Valley the place to be this summer.

“Top-class tennis players and fans will be coming to the region, helping to boost tourism figures, showing we’re punching above our weight and attracting even more events like this."