Tournament director Richard Joyner has hailed the quality of the players competing in this week’s ITF World Tennis Tour event at The Shrewsbury Club ahead of the first round matches starting today.
Number one seed Anhelina Kalinina, the Ukrainian star currently in the world’s top 50, is among the players in action at the Budgen Motors W100 tournament today.
Kalinina faces Elsa Jacquemot from France in one of eight first round singles matches scheduled for today, with the remaining eight matches, including those featuring Jodie Burrage and Katie Boulter, the two highest ranked British players in Shrewsbury this week, taking place tomorrow.
“This tournament is the culmination of a number of years building up to this,” said Joyner, the tournament director for the LTA. “Staging a women’s $100,000 event, which is the highest you can get on the ITF World Tennis Tour, is fantastic.
“It’s a tribute to everything that goes on at The Shrewsbury Club and also in the town with the way the local community get behind the tournaments played here.”
Joyner added: “This week’s number one seed, Anhelina Kalinina, is in the top 50 in the world, and at number two we have Tatjana Maria, a Wimbledon singles semi-finalist earlier this year.
“It’s a really exciting line up with a number of Brits coming through qualifying to join more British players in the main draw.
“Katie Boulter, who had a good run at Wimbledon this year, is playing here ahead of being in the Great Britain team for next week’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Glasgow, so she will be looking for a good run.
“Jodie Burrage has also had a fantastic year climbing up the rankings and has just become the new British number four.”
Four of the five British players competing in yesterday’s final qualifying round at The Shrewsbury Club enjoyed impressive victories against higher ranked opponents to book a spot in the main draw of the biggest indoor women’s tennis event staged in the UK since 1995.
Teenager Ella McDonald delivered another fine performance to beat Thailand’s Peangtarn Plipuech – ranked more than 700 places higher – 7-6, 7-5.
McDonald, 17, will now face Freya Christie, another British player to progress from the qualifying rounds, today. Christie edged a close match with Jesika Maleckova from the Czech Republic 7-6, 7-6.
Maia Lumsden enjoyed a 6-1, 7-5 triumph over Alexandra Eala from the Philippines to set up a first round match against Chinese Taipei player Joanna Garland, another of the qualifiers, tomorrow.
Eliz Maloney also produced an excellent display as she got the better of Diana Marcinkevica from Latvia 6-1, 6-4. She will now face fellow Brit Eden Silva, one of the players to receive a main draw wild card, tomorrow.
Meanwhile, British teenager Isabelle Lacy, 16, pushed Yanina Wickmayer, a former US Open semi-finalist, all the way in the opening set before the Belgian eventually progressed 6-4, 6-0.
The other British players in first round singles action today are Sonay Kartal, Lily Miyazaki and Emily Appleton.
Kartal, the winner of the UK Pro League women’s title at The Shrewsbury Club last November, will face Katarzyna Kawa from Poland.
Miyazaki, the recent winner of a W60 tournament in Glasgow, has been drawn against Gabriela Andrea Knutson from the Czech Republic, while Appleton, who won a W25 tournament in Loughborough last week, will play German player Eva Lys.
Today’s main draw matches – singles and doubles matches will both be played – start at 10.30am, with tickets priced £12 – which include a 40-page tournament programme – to enjoy the action from court-side stands available from www.worldtennistourshrewsbury.com/tickets-and-events/