British stars Jodie Burrage and Katie Boulter enjoyed winning starts in the ITF World Tennis Tour event at The Shrewsbury Club as they progressed to today’s second round.
Burrage and Boulter, who both feature in the current top five of the British women’s rankings, came through their first round matches in straight sets to move into the last 16 of the Budgen Motors W100 tournament.
Burrage, 23, was pleased with her performance as she beat fifth seed Elena Gabriela Ruse from Romania – a player currently ranked just inside the world’s top 100 – 6-1, 6-3.
“I played a really good match today,” said Burrage. “I got on, got off quick. That was the aim and I managed to execute what I wanted to do really well.
“Elena’s a really good player, so I didn’t let her play. I played my game and, yes, really happy with that one.”
Burrage, currently a career-high 128 in the world rankings, is encouraged by her form.
“The last six, seven months for me have been really, really good,” she said. “I’m just looking forward and looking for more. I’m not done yet.
“This is literally like the start of what I’ve wanted to do, so happy that I’m finally getting some momentum, getting my ranking up to where I want it to be, and we’ll see what the future holds.”
Burrage will now face Eva Lys from Germany, ranked just two places above her, in the second round of the prestigious event, which is part of the LTA’s enhanced Performance Competition Calendar.
She added: “I’ll take a look at Eva. I’ve hit with her a little bit, but I’ll watch some of her matches again and remind myself. But I’m sure it will be a really good match and a good fun one to watch.”
Burrage is also pleased to be playing at The Shrewsbury Club once again: “I haven’t been here for a few years,” she said. “But I remember the last time I came here I absolutely loved it, so it’s good to be back and I’m glad I started with a win.”
Boulter, named in the Great Britain team for next week’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Glasgow, joined Burrage in round two after beating Nefisa Berberovic from Bosnia and Herzegovina 6-4, 6-4.
Boulter, who reached the third round at Wimbledon earlier this year, will now meet Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, a US Open semi-finalist in 2009 and once ranked as high as 12 in the world.
Eliz Maloney, having emerged from the qualifying rounds, continued her good form by impressively getting the better of higher ranked Eden Silva 6-2, 6-3 in an all-British clash.
Maloney will now face seventh seed Misaki Doi from Japan, a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 first round winner over Nigina Abduraimova from Uzbekistan.
Marni Banks, one of four British players to receive main draw wild cards, was beaten 6-3, 7-6 by Germany’s Tatjana Maria, who reached the semi-finals of the ladies’ singles at Wimbledon this year.
Maria, currently 70 in the world, more than 460 places higher than Banks, has another British opponent, Lily Miyazaki, in round two.
Maia Lumsden was the final British player to book a place in the second round after a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Chinese Taipei player Joanna Garland in the evening match.
That’s set up a second round clash for Lumsden, the winner of a $25,000 title in Shrewsbury in 2018, against eighth seed Marketa Vondrousova – the Czech Republic star who reached the 2019 French Open final – after she overcame Mirjam Bjorklund from Sweden 6-2, 6-1.
It was also a good day for Karolina Muchova, another Czech player and a semi-finalist at last year’s Australian Open, as she beat Croatian Petra Marcinko, who won a W80 tournament in France last week, 6-4, 6-3.
Seven British players are through to today’s second round, with yesterday’s winners Burrage, Boulter, Maloney and Lumsden joined by Sonay Kartal, Lily Miyazaki and Freya Christie, who faces top seed Anhelina Kalinina from Ukraine, currently ranked in the world’s top 50.
Today’s matches start at 10am, with play getting under way on The Shrewsbury Club’s Centre Court at 11am.
Tickets, which include a 40-page tournament programme, are priced £15 and can be purchased online at www.worldtennistourshrewsbury.com/tickets-and-events/