Published: 30 October 2018

Gabriella Taylor set to lead British challenge top tennis tournament here at The Shrewsbury Club

Gabriella Taylor is set to lead the British challenge when professional tennis returns to Shrewsbury this weekend.

Qualifying for the $25,000 Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series women’s tournament begins here at The Shrewsbury Club on Sunday.

The main draw matches will start next Tuesday morning, with the first round draw conducted during a civic reception at Budgen Motors on Featherbed Lane on Monday evening. Admission is free for spectators to enjoy the action throughout the week, including the final, while a 40-page tournament programme has also been produced.

Dave Courteen, our managing director, said: “We love hosting these professional tournaments and are proud to have again been asked by the LTA to stage two high-profile events this year. It’s a chance for local sports fans to enjoy watching world class tennis close to home, with the quality outstanding."

"Many of the players to have entered the tournament have now returned several times to play at The Shrewsbury Club, so we are delighted they enjoy coming here so much. We are really looking forward to an exciting week of tennis.”

 Taylor, from Southampton, is the current British No. 4 and has a world ranking of 164. The 20-year-old, who has spent the last month playing at tournaments in Australia, has enjoyed a successful year. She was called up to the Great Britain Fed Cup squad and took former finalist Eugenie Bouchard to three sets before bowing out at Wimbledon.

Maia Lumsden and Freya Christie are among the other British players to have entered the International Tennis Federation event. Christie, who will celebrate her 21st birthday during the tournament, has good memories of competing in Shrewsbury, having won the doubles last year and also reached the singles final in the past.

Dutch star Arantxa Rus, currently 108 in the world, is the highest ranked player to have entered the tournament, which will be played on the recently resurfaced indoor courts at The Shrewsbury Club. Rus, 27, was beaten by Serena Williams on No 1 Court at Wimbledon in July and also lost to world No. 6 Sloane Stephens in the first round of the French Open earlier this year. Lesley Kerkhove, a Netherlands Fed Cup team mate of Rus, will also be targeting another productive week in Shrewsbury after being runner-up in the town last year.

Picture: Gabriella Taylor, now up to fourth in the British rankings, is set to take part in the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series tournament here at The Shrewsbury Club - and so is Dutch ace Arantxa Rus, currently ranked 108 in the world. Picture: Getty/LTA.

Published: 30 October 2018