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Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Top seed Viktorija Golubic crowned Budgen W100 Shrewsbury champion

Top seed Viktorija Golubic was delighted to make it back-to-back titles as she delivered an excellent performance to be crowned Budgen W100 Shrewsbury champion.

Champion Viktorija Golubic lifts the Budgen W100 Shrewsbury trophy. Photo: Richard Dawson Photography
Champion Viktorija Golubic lifts the Budgen W100 Shrewsbury trophy. Photo: Richard Dawson Photography

Golubic from Switzerland, currently 87 in the world rankings, followed up her victory at last week’s Rouen 125K Series in France by succeeding Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova as the winner of The Shrewsbury Club’s ITF World Tennis Tour event.

Golubic, 31, impressed a capacity crowd of just under 600 in the DMOS People Arena as she got the better of rising British star Amarni Banks, 21, who had enjoyed a brilliant run to reach the final, in straight sets.

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There was British success later in the afternoon as Harriet Dart teamed up with Australian Olivia Gadecki to win the doubles final.

Golubic, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2021, quickly took control of the final and completed a 6-0, 6-0 victory in just under an hour.

Both Golubic and Banks received a wonderful ovation from the crowd, with Banks, who received a main draw wild card to play in Shrewsbury, set to significantly climb from her current ranking of 432 as a result of her exploits in Shropshire.

Golubic, pleased to lift another trophy, said: “It means a lot. I have now two titles in a row. It’s been such a brilliant two weeks. It helps me to get into the Australian Open main draw and obviously it was a big goal for me.

“This year I didn’t have such an easy start to the season with some injuries and not making many points, so finishing the season so strong means a lot, especially as I have a good ground to start on next year.”

Reflecting on the Shrewsbury final, she added: “It was incredible because I was really solid, flawless today, and maybe for sure experience helped a little bit.

“I think probably it was her first big final like this, so I had to stay really strong. It wasn’t as easy as the result looked, but I was just on the gas pedal all the time and I didn’t give away any points. She had some break points and I was really happy I could save them. It couldn’t have gone better today.”

On Banks, Golubic, ranked as high as 35 in the world last year, said: “I’m sure she’s going to have a great future.”

Golubic is now looking forward to representing her country again having been part of the Switzerland team crowned Billie Jean King Cup winners last year: “There is such a great highlight coming up with the Billie Jean King Cup finals,” she added. “I want to prepare and really be fresh for that.”

Banks, now heading to Scotland to play in the W60 Glasgow tournament, enjoyed an excellent week in Shrewsbury as she impressively beat a trio of seeded players in Dart, Simona Waltert and Oceane Dodin.

“I’m extremely happy with how this week’s gone,” said Banks. “I’m obviously disappointed to not have won today, but Viktorija has played a great tournament and I’m very happy for her. I know she had won her previous tournament, so just really well done to her.

“I’ve learnt a lot against everyone I’ve played this week. It’s just more information for myself and I’m looking forward to improving.”

“I’ve played a few 25K finals, but this is definitely the furthest I’ve gone in such a high ranked tournament.”

Banks is now looking to keep moving in the right direction and climbing the rankings: “I think I’ll be around 300 now, so I’m very, very proud of myself and my team for that,” she said.

Reflecting on her week in Shrewsbury, Banks added: “Everyone here has been so kind and so welcoming. I’ve had so many supporters here and I’m just really happy.”

The tournament ended with British success as Dart, the Great Britain Billie Jean King Cup star, partnered Gadecki to victory in the doubles final.

The top seeds beat Estonian Elena Malygina and Barbora Palicova from the Czech Republic 6-0, 6-2. It’s Dart’s second doubles title in Shrewsbury having partnered Freya Christie to victory in 2017.

Dave Courteen, The Shrewsbury Club’s managing director, said the return of world class tennis to Shropshire had proved very popular: “We’re delighted with the attendances we’ve had, which have been fantastic,” he said. “We’ve broken all records in terms of the number of people who came along.

“The finals day was sold out again, so it’s testament to how much people in the town get behind and support this event.

“There’s so many people that make this event happen. We’ve had 33 sponsors, the majority of which are local. This event wouldn’t happen without them as it costs us over £100,000 to put it on.

“We’ve had 60 wonderful volunteers, so we are grateful for all they have done and, of course, the team here at The Shrewsbury Club have to be commended for just how hard they work.

“We still run a club with 6,000 members during the week of the tournament, so to manage that and run an event of this level is quite remarkable.”

Richard Joyner, the tournament director for the LTA, added: “It’s the second year a W100 has been held here in Shrewsbury. Last year was a very good event and this week has been another exceptional event.

“The players love being here. They really appreciate the effort that goes into everything and it was great that there was a sell-out crowd again for finals day. There was a lovely atmosphere throughout the week and the players feed off that.”

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