British tennis player Naomi Broady says it will be “emotional” when she plays on her home court in Manchester for the 2017 Aegon Trophy.
Broady, 27, was a family friend of Martyn Hett, who died during the attack at Manchester Arena on 22 May.
She now hopes to produce a positive performance in front of her family and friends at the Northern Tennis Club.
“Even though we’re a big city, we’re like a village community,” said Broady.
“I think it’s good that we can hold such positive events so close to the tragedy of Manchester Arena.
“My grandmother’s coming to watch me play for the first time, so it’s going to be an emotional event for many reasons.”
Broady, who is currently ranked 123rd in the world, was in Paris at the time of the attack. Her sister was close to Martyn Hett, but Broady said the strong, emotive response to such a tragic event made her feel close to home.
“My sister went to school with Martyn,” Broady told BBC North West Tonight.
“She was a good friend of his, so everyone in our local area did a vigil for him. It was so overwhelming, the response and the messages that were received by the families.
“It really hit home in Manchester. You either knew someone who was involved or someone that was affected by it.
“I was in Paris but the stories I read about how people reacted made me proud to be a Manc.”
The Aegon Trophy, which runs until 18 June, is Broady’s first grass-court event of the season as she hopes to gain a wildcard entry for Wimbledon next month, but her main aim is to propel herself back into the world’s top 100.
“I didn’t win one match over the grass last year,” said Broady who has a career-best ranking of 76.
“That wasn’t very good but for this year it means I can play with no pressure, get the ranking points and hope to get back into the top 100 for the US Open.
“I’m working hard to do my best here in Manchester. It would be a dream for me to win it.”