Fair weather shone for the fairer sex at Eastbourne Tennis Tournament's Ladies' Day yesterday.

Crowds arrived at Devonshire Park with a distinct lack of hats but an abundance of enthusiasm.

There had been some confusion over whether or not it actually was a day for the women, as it is traditionally held on the Thursday.

But the champagne supping and strawberries went down a treat.

Francesca Rowe, 39, from Battle, enjoyed a girls' lunch with friends Laura Harman and Caroline Wallace, also from the Battle area.

She said: "We are enjoying the sun in the champagne tent and just about to go on to centre court to watch Anastasia Myskina.

"It's our second year here and it is a fun day out to have lunch and enjoy some girly time.

"I have noticed there is no salmon tent this time and there is normally more of a buffet, but we are still having a lovely time. Apparently it is Ladies' Day but we haven't noticed anything - although they did give us a green bag with deodorant and some sweets."

Laura Harman, 32, said: "I am coming back on Saturday with my mother who is coming down from London. It's busy today and the good weather brings more people."

Eastbourne tennis attracts fans from all over the country.

Gwyneth Garbutt, 52, from County Durham said: "We came down for the week and are having a great time.

"We have only collected one autograph so far, Shahar Peer's, but we are hoping to get more when they show up.

"I am here with my two friends and we made a hat especially for the event. It has lots of things attached we have collected over the years and a small tennis racket on top. But no one seems to be wearing hats today even though it is Ladies' Day."

Gwyneth's friend, Laura Esther, said: "It's like a garden party with great tennis going on as well."