German star Anna-Lena Friedsam insists she’s delighted to be playing again after booking her place in today’s semi-finals of the Aegon GB Pro-Series tournament at The Shrewsbury Club.
Friedsam, ranked as high as 45 in the world in August 2016, only recently returned to competitive action after more than a year out through injury and had to come through the qualifying rounds to make the main draw in Shrewsbury.
Friedsam beat British player Sam Murray 6-1,7-6 yesterday to set up a last four clash on the indoor courts at the Sundorne Road venue against No 3 seed Kathinka Von Deichmann.
Today’s other semi-final in the $25,000 event, held in association with local company Morris & Co Homes, will be between top seed Lesley Kerkhove and Marina Melnikova.
Friedsam, who reached the last 16 at last year’s Australian Open and the last 32 at Wimbledon, said: “It’s so nice to be back. I couldn’t play tournaments for more than a year so that was a tough time, so I enjoy it more to win my matches.”
The 23-year-old was pleased with her performance as she got the better of Murray in straight sets.
“I played really good today,” she said. “The first set was really impressive from me. The second set she also played really great tennis. It was difficult for me to win the points, she did a great job, but I tried to focus on my good points and so I did it in the end.”
Friedsam stressed she is enjoying playing at The Shrewsbury Club.
“The food is very good here, I like it a lot, and the town is very nice,” she smiled. “Also the facilities here, it’s perfect for professional tennis players.”
Von Deichmann, from Liechtenstein, set up a semi-final meeting with Friedsam by beating Swiss player Tess Sugnaux, last year’s runner-up in Shrewsbury, in three sets.
Von Deichmann, who is ranked 193 in the world, won through 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 in the longest of the quarter finals, just over two hours.
Top seed Kerkhove moved into the last four by ending the good run this week of Eden Silva, from Essex, as British interest in the singles event ended yesterday afternoon.
The Dutch ace, who is currently ranked 156 in the world, won through 6-4, 6-4 to reach her second semi-final in Shrewsbury, having also reached the last four in 2015 when she was knocked out by eventual champion Oceane Dodin.
Kerkhove will face Melnikova in today’s first semi-final, which starts at 11am, after the Russian prevailed 6-3, 6-4 against Turkish player Pemra Ozgen in the quarter finals.
The doubles final will take place this afternoon (4pm), an all-British clash as Freya Christie and Harriet Dart face Katie Swan and Maia Lumsden.
Admission is free for spectators to enjoy today’s matches from special court-side stands.