Latest International Tennis News
Delighted Diatchenko wins thrilling final to be crowned W60 Shrewsbury tournament champion
Pictured: Vitalia Diatchenko, the singles champion, with, left, James Martin, the managing director of tournament sponsors Budgen Motors, and David Rawlinson, the deputy president of the LTA, at the presentation ceremony, together with members of the ball crew.
Vitalia Diatchenko impressively recovered from losing the opening set to win a thrilling final in the Budgen Motors World Tennis Tour W60 Shrewsbury tournament.
The Russian star eventually ran out a 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 winner against Belgian ace Yanina Wickmayer to be crowned champion of the prestigious $60,000 event in front of a capacity crowd of around 500 at The Shrewsbury Club.
It was a second successive title for Diatchenko, 28, after winning a $25,000 tournament in France last week.
Wickmayer, 29, responded well to the disappointment of defeat to partner Arina Rodionova to victory in the doubles final later in the afternoon with a straight sets victory over British player Freya Christie and Valeria Savinykh.
But it was singles title glory for a delighted Diatchenko, the second seed, as she produced an excellent performance to get the better of top seed Wickmayer.
A close final was always likely given the players are currently next to each other in the world rankings, with Wickmayer just one place higher at 126, and that’s exactly how it played out.
Wickmayer, the former US Open semi-finalist once ranked as high as 12, fought back from 5-3 down in the opening set to take it 7-5 - but Diatchenko hit back in style to claim victory.
She said: "I'm really happy I can win today because it was a very tough, very intense, very physical, intense match for both of us.”
Diatchenko, who beat Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon last summer on her way to reaching the third round, revealed it was the first time she had managed to win back-to-back titles, adding: “I proved my level and my ranking and everything. I had a goal for these couple of tournaments and I did it.”
Wickmayer was quickly back on court as she teamed up with Australian Rodionova to beat Christie, from Nottinghamshire, and Russian player Savinykh 6-2, 7-5 to take the doubles prize.
"I think we did well,” said Wickmayer. "It's our second time playing together and our second final, so I think we have to play more in the future.”
Dave Courteen, the managing director of The Shrewsbury Club, stressed the quality of the two finals was a fitting end to an exciting week of tennis.
He said: “The singles final was amazing and the quality of the tennis was so high. I was speaking to one of the senior LTA representatives and he said the quality was just like you would see in a $250,000 WTA event.
“It was so close and could have gone either way. It was an incredible finale in front of a sell-out crowd to what’s been a fantastic week.
“It’s been a really successful tournament and we are delighted with how it’s gone. It was a big undertaking for the club to stage a tournament of this size, but the hard work of our team, an army of volunteers and our sponsors has helped make it a real success. We really hope it’s something we can bring back to the town."
Julie Piper, the tournament director for the Lawn Tennis Association, added: “It’s been an excellent week. There’s been a great team of volunteers who have been really welcoming and that set the tone from the moment the players arrived.
“The stadium court set, everything that Dave Courteen has done has been brilliant. He’s so enthusiastic and the players have been happy with everything.
“It’s been a very happy week and I’ve also liked the evening play because it’s given people the opportunity after work and for children after school to come in and see the tennis.”
The next professional tournament at The Shrewsbury Club will be a $25,000 men’s event in September.
Top two seeds to meet in final of W60 Shrewsbury tournament - with Brit Freya Christie to feature in doubles final
Pictured: Yanina Wickmayer in action during her semi-final victory at The Shrewsbury Club. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Top two seeds Yanina Wickmayer and Vitalia Diatchenko will meet in front of a capacity crowd of around 500 in the final of the Budgen Motors World Tennis Tour W60 Shrewsbury tournament tomorrow.
There will be British interest in the doubles final which follows after an impressive victory for Freya Christie, partnering Russian Valeria Savinykh, tonight.
They will take on second seeds Wickmayer, who faces a busy afternoon, and Arina Rodionova.
Currently next to each other in the world rankings, with Wickmayer one place higher at 126, the two singles finalists have not lost a set between them this week at The Shrewsbury Club.
Belgian star Wickmayer, 29, beat French player Harmony Tan 7-5, 6-4 in the last four of the $60,000 event earlier today.
Russian ace Diatchenko, 28, was level at 3-3 in the second semi-final with Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov when the Spanish fifth seed had the misfortune to suffer an ankle injury which meant she was unable to continue.
“I feel for her today,” said Diatchenko. “She sprained her ankle when she was running. Not the way I want to finish the match today, but looking forward to the final.”
Now she hopes to follow up the $25,000 title she won at an event in Grenoble, France last week by becoming a champion once again.
“I had goals for these couple of tournaments to get back to the top 100,” said Diatchenko, who was once as high as 71 in the world rankings.
As for playing in front of a big Shrewsbury crowd tomorrow, she smiled: "So many people are coming to watch - I think Shrewsbury really likes to watch tennis.”
Diatchenko, who beat Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon last summer before being knocked out by Jelena Ostapenko in the last 32, added: “I just want to show my best game."
Wickmayer, the former world No. 12 and once a US Open semi-finalist, has been equally consistent throughout the week in reaching the final.
She was again happy with how she played as she got the better of Tan in a match which lasted just under one and a half hours.
“She’s definitely a tough opponent,” said Wickmayer, of the player she beat in the last four. "I think she plays a different game than most of us do. She plays very smart, is very talented and she can do a lot of things on court.
"It was a tough opponent and I really had to work hard for every point, but that’s what I’m here for and happy to be through to the final.”
Now preparing to take on Diatchenko, Wickmayer added: "She’s a really tough opponent. She hits pretty hard and plays pretty aggressive, so another different game style than the one I played today, so I know I’m going to have to be at my best and I’m going to have to be very aggressive. I’m going to focus on myself, focus on my game and try to be ready.”
Meanwhile, Christie and Savinykh produced a fine display to win their doubles semi-final this evening in just over an hour. They beat German Antonia Lottner and Cornelia Lister from Sweden 6-1, 6-3.
Christie won a doubles title at The Shrewsbury Club, partnering British Fed Cup star Harriet Dart, in 2017.
Wickmayer and Australian Rodionova booked their place in the final with a 6-3, 6-3 success against Canadian Sharon Fichman and American Maria Sanchez.
Tomorrow’s singles final starts at 1.30pm, with the doubles final to follow.
Top seed Wickmayer ends Lumsden's exciting run to reach semi-finals of W60 Shrewsbury tournament
Pictured: Belgian ace Yanina Wickmayer, this week’s top seed, on her way to victory against Maia Lumsden. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Top seed Yanina Wickmayer ended the exciting run of rising British star Maia Lumsden at the quarter-final stage of the Budgen Motors World Tennis Tour W60 Shrewsbury tournament.
Belgian ace Wickmayer, ranked 126 in the world - more than 200 places higher than the 21-year-old Scot - progressed to tomorrow’s semi-finals with a 6-3, 6-3 triumph at The Shrewsbury Club.
Wickmayer, a former US Open semi-finalist, will now take on French player Harmony Tan in the day's opening match at 12.30pm for a place in the final of the $60,000 event.
The other last four clash will follow between Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov, the fifth seed from Spain, and Russian Vitalia Diatchenko, this week’s second seed.
Despite defeat, Lumsden insisted she enjoyed the experience of playing in the impressive new arena, with stadium seating, which had been assembled overnight at The Shrewsbury Club ahead of the quarter-finals.
“It was a tough match,” said Lumsden, the winner of a $25,000 event in Shrewsbury in November. "I thought she played really well. I feel like it was a bit of a step up in pace that she was hitting the ball, so I think that forced me into hitting a few more mistakes than usual. I felt a bit of pressure on my serve as well, so those two things let me down a little bit.”
Lumsden, who will play in a tournament in Glasgow, her home city, next week, added: “It’s been a really enjoyable week again. The new stadium built for today was really cool to play on and I always enjoy playing here.
“It’s an enjoyable two weeks for me with playing here and then at home in Glasgow, so I’m excited for that. This is the first time I’ve made quarter-finals of a $60,000 tournament, so that’s a small goal reached.”
Next up for Wickmayer, 29, once ranked as high as 12 in the world, is a semi-final clash against Tan, who reached the final of a $25,000 tournament in Grenoble last week.
Tan, 21, has built on the consistent form she produced in France since arriving in Shrewsbury and booked her place in the last four in style by beating third seed Tereza Smitkova, from the Czech Republic, 6-1, 6-0 in just 46 minutes.
It was a notable victory for Tan, just outside the world’s top 300, against a player currently ranked 138.
“It was a great match for me,” said Tan, adding. “It’s a good week - I like Shrewsbury."
Second seed Diatchenko, 28, currently 127 in the world having been as high as 71, got the better of Belgian qualifier Kimberley Zimmermann 6-1, 6-3 to set up a last four match against Bolsova Zadoinov, 21, a 6-1, 7-5 winner against French qualifier Amandine Hesse.
Meanwhile, there will be British interest in tomorrow’s doubles semi-finals after Freya Christie teamed up with Russian Valeria Savinykh to beat fourth seeds Bibiane Schoofs and Raluca Georgiana Serban in a third set tiebreak.
They now face Cornelia Lister from Sweden and German Antonia Lottner - who knocked out top seeds Lesley Kerkhove and Jessica Moore - in a match which will be played at 7pm.
But Naomi Broady, another Brit, partnering Australian Storm Sanders, bowed out, beaten 7-6, 6-1 by Sharon Fichman and Maria Sanchez this evening.
Fichman and Sanchez will meet Wickmayer - who faces a busy day with both singles and doubles semi-finals - and Arina Rodionova in the last four.
Tickets to enjoy tomorrow's matches cost £12 (£6 for club members) and can be purchased online at www.theshrewsburyclub.co.uk or www.shropshirefestivals.co.uk by clicking the world tour tennis button.
Marvellous Maia impresses again to set up last eight clash against top seed Wickmayer
Pictured: Maia Lumsden impressed again to reach the last eight of the Budgen Motors World Tennis Tour W60 Shrewsbury tournament. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Maia Lumsden again impressed a supportive crowd at The Shrewsbury Club to set up an exciting quarter-final clash with top seed Yanina Wickmayer in the Budgen Motors World Tennis Tour W60 Shrewsbury tournament.
The 21-year-old Scot, a popular winner of a $25,000 event in Shrewsbury in November, hit the heights once more to book a place in tomorrow’s last eight.
Handed a wild card to compete in this week’s $60,000 tournament, Lumsden beat eighth seed Kathinka Von Deichmann, from Liechtenstein, who has a world ranking of 162, in straight sets.
“It was a good match,” said Lumsden, currently 344 in the rankings, following her 6-3, 6-4 triumph. “She’s got quite a unique game style. I had played her once before so I knew what to expect and I think I executed my game plan well. That helped me get the win."
Lumsden, the British No. 9, thanked the Shrewsbury crowd for again providing such good backing from the stands.
“It was so good again,” she added. "There’s quite a lot of familiar faces from last time that have been coming up to say hello. It’s really nice to feel like I’ve got home support, almost like I’m playing in Glasgow.
“I love the club and love the courts, so hopefully I can keep going.”
As for facing Belgian star Wickmayer, currently ranked 126 in the world having been as high as 12, Lumsden said: “Obviously, she’s a big name. She's made semis at the US Open before, so it will be a big challenge and a tough match, I’m sure. I think I’ve watched her on TV, but I’ve never played her before.”
Wickmayer delivered another strong display to overcome the challenge of French qualifier Jessika Ponchet 6-2, 6-3 in today’s second round.
Jodie Burrage, the other British player, along with Lumsden, to reach the last 16 saw her impressive run ended by Czech Republic ace Tereza Smitkova, this week’s third seed.
Burrage, 19, having emerged from the qualifiers, was beaten 6-4, 6-1 by a player currently 138 in the world rankings.
Smitkova’s next opponent tomorrow will be French player Harmony Tan, a 6-4, 6-1 conqueror of seventh seed Bibiane Schoofs from the Netherlands.
Russian second seed Vitalia Diatchenko continued her excellent form by easing past French player Mrytille Georges 6-2, 6-0 in just 57 minutes.
Diatchenko will now meet Kimberley Zimmermann after the Belgian qualifier knocked out sixth seed Arina Rodionova from Australia 6-4, 6-0.
Spanish fifth seed Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov had no such problems, taking less than an hour to beat Raluca Georgiana Serban from Cyprus 6-2, 6-0, to secure a meeting with French player Amandine Hesse, who progressed to the last eight with a 6-3, 6-1 verdict against Norweigan Ulrikke Eikeri.
Lumsden is not the only British player still competing at The Shrewsbury Club this week as two more will feature in the quarter finals of the doubles.
Freya Christie will partner Russian Valeria Savinykh against Schoofs and Serban, the fourth seeds, in one of the matches which will open tomorrow's proceedings at noon.
The four singles quarter-finals will be played before another doubles match - Brit Naomi Broady and Australian Storm Sanders against Sharon Fichman and Maria Sanchez - will complete the day’s action from 7pm.
Tickets to enjoy tomorrow’s action from stadium seating cost £12 (£6 for club members) and can be purchased online at www.theshrewsburyclub.co.uk or www.shropshirefestivals.co.uk by clicking the world tour tennis button.
Lumsden and Burrage carry British hopes
Pictured: Maia Lumsden maintained her winning habit at The Shrewsbury Club to reach the second round. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Maia Lumsden and Jodie Burrage will carry British hopes into the second round of the Budgen Motors World Tennis Tour W60 Shrewsbury tournament tomorrow.
Lumsden, 21, winner of a $25,000 event at The Shrewsbury Club in November, is relishing being back in familiar surroundings which clearly bring out the best in her.
The Scot beat Italian Anastasia Grymalska, a player ranked more than 100 places higher, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 to claim a notable first round victory.
Burrage, 19, having progressed from the qualifying rounds, then impressed to join Lumsden in the last 16 of the prestigious $60,000 tournament.
Burrage was leading Valentini Grammatikopoulou, who represented Greece in the Fed Cup last week, 6-3, 4-0 when her opponent, ranked nearly 200 places higher, retired through injury.
Next up for Burrage, who has a current ranking of 369, is third seed Tereza Smitkova from the Czech Republic.
Lumsden produced a determined display, winning the last six games in a row to win the decisive final set, just after requiring treatment from the physio for a calf injury towards the end of the second set.
“I’m really happy to win, to come through that match,” said Lumsden, currently ranked 344 in the world. "After the second set, I wasn’t sure as I hurt my calf a little bit. In the third set, I just tried to be more attacking and keep the points shorter.
“I think the fact that I was having to attack more actually helped because that’s what I was doing well when I won the first set. It made me be more attacking. I’m happy I did that. I was just trying to enjoy it out there as well because it was such a good crowd again watching. It’s great to be back at the club again.”
Lumsden will now face Kathinka Von Deichmann, from Liechtenstein, tomorrow after the eighth seed recovered from losing the opening set to beat Laura Robson 6-7, 7-6, 6-0.
Robson, drawn as a lucky loser from the players beaten in the second qualifying round on Monday, was on court for two and a half hours, her third match in two days, after making Shrewsbury her comeback tournament, her first event since hip surgery in July.
The three other British players in the main draw were also knocked out. Naomi Broady lost 6-4, 6-3 to Raluca Georgiana Serban from Cyprus, who will now meet fifth seed Aliona Bolsova Zadoinov in round two after the Spanish player overcame Francesca Jones 6-3, 6-0.
Freya Christie, a finalist at The Shrewsbury Club in 2015, was beaten 6-4, 6-2 by French player Myrtille Georges, a lucky loser from the qualifying rounds who benefited from the withdrawal of Sabine Lisicki.
The tournament’s top two seeds signalled their intent by losing just four games between them in easing through to the second round.
Belgian Yanina Wickmayer, currently ranked 126 in the world having been as high as 12, beat Dutch opponent Lesley Kerkhove 6-2, 6-1.
Second seed Vitalia Diatchenko, from Russia, ranked just one place below Wickmayer, produced a strong performance to get the better of Italian Martina Di Giuseppe 6-1, 6-0.
Tomorrow’s second round matches start at 10am, with admission free for spectators to enjoy the action from courtside seating.
Tickets are available to be purchased from Thursday’s quarter-finals onwards, with day tickets priced £12 (£6 for club members) while a tournament pass for the rest of the week, which concludes with the singles and doubles final on Saturday afternoon, costs £25 (£15 for club members).
To purchase tickets and for more details of the evening hospitality events, visit www.theshrewsburyclub.co.uk or www.shropshirefestivals.co.uk and click on the world tour tennis button.
Laura's A Lucky Loser to Stay on Shrewsbury Comeback
Pictured: Laura Robson during her return to action at The Shrewsbury Club earlier today. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
British star Laura Robson insisted she enjoyed being back on court after returning to action in the Budgen Motors World Tennis Tour W60 Shrewsbury tournament.
Robson, 25, playing in her first event since hip surgery last July, won her opening qualifying round match at The Shrewsbury Club but was then beaten in the second later in the day - however, she will still feature in tomorrow’s main draw as a lucky loser.
Handed a wild card to feature in the qualifying rounds of the $60,000 event, Robson initially faced Jessica Pieri, with her Italian opponent retiring through injury just over half an hour into their contest with Robson leading 6-1, 1-0.
That set up a second qualifying round clash against Jessika Ponchet, with the French player emerging a 6-2, 7-6 winner.
"I said last week all I wanted to come out of this week being on court was just to enjoy it and I felt like I did,” said Robson, once ranked as high as 27 in the world.
"I definitely think I can be better and play better and improve as I play with every match, but I enjoyed it out there and I think I competed pretty well for someone who's been away for however many months it is. I enjoyed it, both matches, even the one that I lost.”
She added: "I'm a bit tired right now. I didn't know how I was going to feel. It doesn't matter how many practice matches you play. It's not really the same as being back on court and the intensity is always going to be a bit different, so to get through a match and a half today is pretty decent."
Robson's comeback attracted a good crowd for the opening day's action on The Shrewsbury Club’s indoor courts: "I'm not sure how many people I thought might come out and watch," she said. "But the balcony's been absolutely packed today, not just for my match but for all of them, so it's great that everyone's so supportive.”
Six British players will feature in tomorrow’s main draw - with Robson, who will face Kathinka von Deichmann, from Liechtenstein, drawn as the lucky loser from the players beaten in the second qualifying round after a spot became available following the withdrawal of British Fed Cup star Katie Swan owing to illness. Heather Watson has also withdrawn from the event for the same reason.
Maia Lumsden, winner of the $25,000 tournament at The Shrewsbury Club in November, will take on Italian Anastasia Grymalska in the first round while Freya Christie has been drawn against German star Sabine Lisicki, who was beaten in the 2013 singles final at Wimbledon.
Jodie Anna Burrage, having progressed from the qualifying rounds, Francesca Jones and Naomi Broady - ranked 76 in the world in 2016 - will also carry British hopes.
Belgian ace Yanina Wickmayer, a former US Open semi-finalist once ranked as high as 12 in the world, is this week’s No. 1 seed and will take on Dutch player Lesley Kerkhove, runner-up at The Shrewsbury Club in 2017, in round one.
Tomorrow's action starts at 10am, with admission free for spectators to watch from courtside seating.
500 Smiles For Maia's Maiden $25K Title Win
Pictured: Delighted Maia Lumsden celebrates victory in the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series final at The Shrewsbury Club. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Maia Lumsden’s memorable week in Shrewsbury ended in title glory as she was crowned champion of the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series women’s tournament.
The week started with Maia battling her way through qualifying before she found time to sing the Proclaimers "500 miles" as part of the Shrewsbury Club's "LIttle Trips" video series in a Budgen Motors car. Five days later, the 20-year-old from Glasgow, walked out to the same song in front of a near capacity 500 crowd to seal a seventh victory in as many days by beating former top 100 player Valeria Savinykh 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in an exciting final at The Shrewsbury Club.
It’s Lumsden’s first International Tennis Federation $25,000 title and she is the first British champion at the Shrewsbury event since Elena Baltacha was also a hugely popular winner in 2009.
Lumsden, the British No. 9, joins an illustrious list of names of Shrewsbury champions on the club’s winners’ board in the tournament’s 11-year history.
"I’ve seen the names up on the board, so it will be pretty cool to be up there with the other winners because there’s some great players,” she said.
Her victory completed a successful 24 hours for British tennis after Sarah Beth Grey and Olivia Nicholls won the doubles final on The Shrewsbury Club’s indoor courts.
Lumsden and Russian Savinykh went into the final next to each other in the world rankings, with Lumsden one place higher in 376, but she will now significantly climb in the right direction following her impressive triumph.
She took the first set in just 25 minutes and, after Savinykh, once ranked as high as 99, levelled up the match, Lumsden played an excellent final set, wrapping up victory by serving an ace.
“I started really well in the first set,” she said. "Then the second set, I was just trying to stay focused and obviously she got it, so then the third set, I had to step it up.”
Delighted to have won the event, Lumsden, who was runner-up in the doubles final alongside Katie Swan at Shrewsbury 12 months earlier, admitted: “Yes, I think I have surprised myself. Every match was tough in this tournament because it was a strong field.”
She has enjoyed her week in Shropshire and relished playing in front of such a big crowd in the final.
“It’s so good,” she stressed. "I always love playing in front of a crowd and this doesn’t happen every week at tournaments at this level, so this really is the best $25,000 level tournament."
Lumsden, beaten in three sets in her only previous $25,000 singles final in Glasgow in February, added: “It’s my last ITF event of the year - a perfect way to finish the year.”
Dave Courteen, the managing director of The Shrewsbury Club, said he was pleased that Lumsden’s excellent form throughout the tournament had been rewarded by becoming champion.
He said: “It’s wonderful to have a British winner in the women’s event. We’ve had some British winners before in the men’s event in the seven years that we’ve been operating the club, but have always wanted to have a British women win as well and Maia has just been a delight all week.
“She’s played some wonderful tennis and has joined in with everything she’s been asked to do to help make this event so special, so there couldn’t be a more fitting winner.
“She’s been such a good part of the week. She had a real fight in some of her matches and playing seven matches in seven days is tough by anybody’s standards.
“It just helps builds the excitement for the events we are hosting next year. It was another good turn out for the final, probably a crowd of more than 400, so it was great to see so many people and I’m delighted that it’s been a really successful week.”
Julie Piper, the tournament director for the Lawn Tennis Association, added: “Once again it’s been a fantastic week, a very strong entry, probably the strongest $25,000 tournament I’ve seen for a long time. It was great to have British girls win both the singles and doubles.”
Maia Win in a Rush to Final with Russian as Brit pair beat the Germans in a tie break to the Doubles Title
Pictured: Maia Lumsden, in pink, and Valeria Savinykh are the finalists in the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series tournament at The Shrewsbury Club. Pictures: Richard Dawson Photography.
British No. 9 Maia Lumsden will face Russian Valeria Savinykh in the final of the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series women’s tennis tournament at The Shrewsbury Club tomorrow afternoon.
Lumsden’s wonderful week, which started in the qualifying rounds, continued with an impressive victory over Belgian Greet Minnen in today’s opening semi-final as she secured a place in the second $25,000 singles final of her career.
Savinykh, once ranked as high as 99 in the world, got the better of experienced Turkish player Pemra Ozgen, the eighth seed, in straight sets.
She is delighted to reach the final after losing at the semi-final stage in tournaments in both Oslo and Wirral in the last two weeks.
The two finalists are currently next to each other in the world rankings, with Lumsden 376 and Savinykh 377.
Lumsden, 20, from Glasgow, hit the heights once again to overcome Minnen - who had knocked out top seed Arantxa Rus in the quarter finals - 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
“I’m really excited,” said Lumsden. "It was a really tough match that went all the way, and I’m really glad to be in the final here when it’s such a good event.”
Lumsden, who has now won six matches in as many days on The Shrewsbury Club’s indoor courts, added: “I was really not expecting much when I was in the qualifiers. I was just trying to take one match at a time, so it’s crazy to be in the final now. But I’ve been playing well and each match I’ve got more confident and I’m feeling good now.
“Even the last few weeks, I’ve been playing well and I’ve had quite a few matches, so I was feeling my game before this week, and I think the courts are great for my game. They’ve really suited it, so I’ve been able to play some good tennis.”
It’s the second year in a row Lumsden has featured in a final at The Shrewsbury Club, having lost in the doubles final, partnering Katie Swan, 12 months ago.
Now she’s relishing the prospect of playing in front of a big crowd in the singles final: “I’m excited,” she added. "I always want to be part of days like that.”
Savinykh, 27, who has yet to drop a set this week, beat Ozgen 6-1, 7-6 to book her place in the final.
“I am happy, but the tournament isn’t over, so I can’t relax,” she said. “It was a good match. I played well and there was a lot of competition in that match. My opponent was very strong.”
Savinykh, who reached the last 32 of the Australian Open in 2013, is enjoying her first visit to Shrewsbury.
“It’s my first time here,” she added. "It’s amazing. I would say it’s one of the best organised tournaments out of a $25,000 and in general, very friendly and I’m happy to be here.”
The final, which will be the first meeting between Lumsden and Savinykh, starts from 1.30pm on Saturday afternoon, with admission free for spectators to enjoy the action from courtside stands.
Meanwhile, there was British success in the doubles final this evening as Sarah Beth Grey and Olivia Nicholls were crowned champions after a fine comeback victory against German twins Tayisiya and Yana Morderger.
Having lost the first set 6-0, the Brits levelled it up by taking the second 6-3 before holding their nerve to win the tiebreak 10-4.
Maia Slays Seed to March into Semis!
Pictured: Belgium's Greet Minnen celebrates an impressive quarter-final win at The Shrewsbury Club, where tomorrow she will face Britain's Maia Lumsden. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Maia Lumsden, the British No. 9, produced an excellent performance to progress to the semi-finals of the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series women’s tournament at The Shrewsbury Club.
The 20-year-old Scot, currently ranked 376 in the world, swept aside Austrian Barbara Haas, the third seed, in straight sets to set up a last four showdown tomorrow against Belgian Greet Minnen, who also impressed in knocking out top seed Arantxa Rus.
The other semi-final will be between Turkish player Pemra Ozgen, the only seed now left in the $25,000 International Tennis Federation tournament, and Russian Valeria Savinykh.
Lumsden and Minnen will be first on court at 11.30am, with the clash between Ozgen and Savinykh following.
Lumsden, who arrived in Shropshire last weekend to initially take part in the qualifying rounds, maintained her fine form by hitting the heights to secure a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Haas, who has a career high ranking of 134.
The only British player to get past the first round in Shrewsbury this week, Lumsden will now face Minnen, ranked 316, after she delivered an outstanding display to get the better of top seed Arantxa Rus 6-3, 6-1.
It was a notable victory for the 21-year-old Belgian, who reached the semi-finals in Shrewsbury in 2015, against Dutch ace Rus, a player currently just outside the world’s top 100.
Eighth seed Ozgen, from Istanbul, was the first player to book a semi-final spot, advancing with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Spanish player Guiomar Maristany Zuleta De Reales.
“I’m happy to be in the semis,” said Ozgen, 32. "I played good and I’m happy to go through.”
Ozgen, currently ranked 240 in the world, enjoys coming to Shrewsbury and has become a regular visitor to the town, with the highlight winning the doubles in 2013 with Cagla Buyukakcay, another Turkish player.
“I’ve played here three or four times,” she added. "I like in general all tournaments in England. They’re always well organised and everything we need is always here. That’s why I keep coming back.”
Ozgen will now face Savinykh, currently ranked 377 having been as high as 99, in a quick rematch after they also met last week in a $25,000 tournament at Wirral, a second round contest which the Russian player won 6-3, 6-3.
Savinykh, 27, reached the last four with a 6-3, 7-5 victory against Romanian Laura-Ioana Andrei, the longest of the quarter-final matches, lasting just over two hours.
Meanwhile, there is British interest in the doubles final to be played tomorrow afternoon, from 4.30pm, with third seeds Sarah Beth Grey and Olivia Nicholls facing German twins Tayisiya and Yana Morderger.
Admission is free to spectators to enjoy all the day’s action at The Shrewsbury Club’s indoor courts.
Revenge for Rus as she Meet's Greet in the Quarter-Finals!
Pictured: Belgian Greet Minnen, who will face top seed Arantxa Rus in the quarter finals, beat fifth seed Anna Zaja in the second round. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Top seed Arantxa Rus quickly turned the tables on Diana Marcinkevica to book her place in tomorrow’s quarter finals of the $25,000 Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series women’s tournament at The Shrewsbury Club.
It was also a good day for Maia Lumsden, the last remaining British player, as she progressed to the last eight.
Rus, currently ranked 108 in the world having been as high as 61, set up a clash with Greet Minnen by beating Latvian Marcinkevica in straight sets.
Her 7-5, 6-2 victory came just a few days after the Dutch ace lost to the same opponent in the final of a $25,000 International Tennis Federation event at Wirral.
“I played a good match, I served well,” said Rus. "The first set, we had some close games, but I’m happy the way I played.”
As for overcoming a player she was beaten by in a tiebreak in the Wirral final last weekend, she stressed: “I don’t want to look so much to the opponent, but of course you always think about it because last week you played a final against her. It was a great match, the final, and I couldn’t make it, so, yes, of course, you always want to win.”
Rus, who was knocked out of Wimbledon earlier this year by Serena Williams, is enjoying her first visit to Shrewsbury.
“It’s the first time here,” she added. "I think the facilities are very good. I really like the gym, a lot of space in the restaurant, good food, the courts are good, so I like it.”
Rus will now take on Belgian Minnen, who reached the semi-finals in Shrewsbury in 2015, in the quarter finals.
Minnen, 310 in the world rankings, was in fine form to knock out fifth seed Anna Zaja, from Germany, in straight sets, recovering from 5-2 down in the second set to take it 7-5 after winning the opener 7-6.
“I’m definitely very happy,” said Minnen. "It was a tough match, a really close match. I’ve played her before, so I knew she was a good player. She’s above me in the rankings, so for me it’s a very good win. In the second set, I came back from 5-2, so it’s always nice to win in two sets.”
Lumsden, the British No. 9, beat German Caroline Werner 6-2, 6-2, a fourth victory in as many days for the 20-year-old Scot after progressing to the main draw from the qualifying rounds.
She will now face third seed Barbara Haas tomorrow after the Austrian’s second round opponent, German Lena Rueffer, retired during the opening set.
Tomorrow’s other last eight matches will see experienced Turkish player Pemra Ozgen, seeded eight, take on Guiomar Maristany Zuleta De Reales from Spain, while Russian Valeria Savinykh will play Laura-Ioana Andrei from Romania.
The quarter finals will start at 11.30am, with admission free for spectators.
It's Brexit Day at Shrewsbury but Maia is a Remainer
Pictured: British player Gabriella Taylor on her way to defeat in round one against Ana Vrljic, from Croatia, at The Shrewsbury Club. Pictures: Richard Dawson Photography.
Maia Lumsden is the last British player standing in the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series women’s tournament - with second seed Gabriella Taylor among seven British players to make first round exits.
Having come through two qualifying matches, Lumsden, the British No. 9, got the better of Spanish player Eva Guerrero Alvarez 6-4, 7-5 to set up a second round clash against German Caroline Werner, conqueror of No. 6 seed Amandine Hesse, tomorrow.
But it was otherwise a tough day for the Brits in the $25,000 International Tennis Federation event at The Shrewsbury Club as they all tasted defeat.
Taylor, currently 164 in the world rankings, was knocked out by Ana Vrljic, with the experienced Croatian securing a 7-6, 6-1 victory.
Vrljic, currently ranked 596 having been as high as 180, said: “I’ve been playing well lately. I like indoor conditions, so I feel good and that’s the outcome of winning this match.
“It’s always tough to play those kind of opponents, but I played good and I believe in my game - I think I showed it today.”
Vrljic, who has represented Croatia in the Fed Cup, always enjoys her trips to play in Shrewsbury.
“I love tournaments in Great Britain,” she stressed. "They’re always very well organised. Shrewsbury really try to improve everything.”
She added with a smile: "They resurface the courts, which is really good for us players because it was too fast last year! I’m happy that they did it and the club is really nice.”
Of the other Brits in first round action, seventh seed Katy Dunne bowed out in straight sets, losing 6-2, 6-3 to Russian Valeria Savinykh, beaten 2015 finalist Freya Christie went down 6-4, 6-4 to Bulgarian Isabella Shinikova, while Sarah Beth Grey lost 6-2, 6-4 to Romanian Laura-Ioana Andrei.
Eden Silva was swept aside 6-0, 6-0 by Turkish eighth seed Pemra Ozgen, Holly Staff lost 6-2, 6-2 to Eleni Kordolaimi from Greece and 18-year-old Ali Collins was beaten 6-3, 6-4 by top seed Arantxa Rus, the Dutch star with a current world ranking of 108.
Rus will now meet in-form Latvian Diana Marcinkevica in an intriguing second round tie tomorrow, a quick rematch after Marcinkevica beat Rus in a third set tiebreak to win the final of the $25,000 Wirral tournament just last weekend.
Third seed Barbara Haas, from Austria, recovered from losing the opening set to overcome her French opponent Harmony Tan.
The longest match of round one was the all-Belgian clash between Greet Minnen and Marie Benoit, with Minnen progressing 7-6, 4-6, 6-4 in three hours 21 minutes.
Tomorrow’s second round matches will start at 10.30am, with admission free for spectators to enjoy the action at The Shrewsbury Club’s indoor courts.
Christie Hoping to Unlock Shrewsbury Birthday Surprise
Pictured: British player Freya Christie, who will celebrate her 21st birthday later this week, at tonight’s reception at Budgen Motors with Julie Piper, the tournament director for the LTA, and Dave Courteen, the managing director of The Shrewsbury Club. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Julie Piper, the tournament director for the Lawn Tennis Association, has hailed the strength of this week’s Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series women’s tennis tournament at The Shrewsbury Club ahead of the main draw matches getting under way tomorrow.
Delighted with the quality of entrants for the $25,000 International Tennis Federation event, she said: “I think it’s probably one of the strongest 25K events I’ve seen for a number of years. Arantxa Rus, from the Netherlands, was ranked in the top 100 and was runner-up in the Wirral Pro-Series tournament last week to Diana Marcinkevica, who is also taking part this week, so it’s very strong indeed.
“There’s a good British entry with the top ranked player Gabriella Taylor, who has just come back from playing in Australia, so it’s very exciting.
“With the newly resurfaced courts and the new, improved lighting at The Shrewsbury Club, it’s very impressive. The players have come in and said ‘wow - the courts look amazing, the lighting’s brighter.’ They notice these things and it’s been very positive feedback.”
Dave Courteen, The Shrewsbury Club’s managing director, added: “We are delighted to have so many fantastic players with us here in Shrewsbury once again this week. It’s a great opportunity for the local community to have the chance to watch such a high level of tennis and we are grateful to Budgen Motors for their valued support."
The draw for the opening round of the main draw matches took place at a reception hosted by Budgen Motors on Featherbed Lane this evening, with top seed Rus, currently 108 in the world rankings, paired against 18-year-old Scot Ali Collins, who has received a wild card for this week’s tournament.
Rising British star Taylor, the second seed, will begin her quest to enjoy a successful week in Shropshire against experienced Croatian Ana Vrljic, while Katy Dunne, the next highest seeded Brit at seven, has been drawn against Russian player Valeria Savinykh.
The second qualifying round earlier today proved productive for British players, with three of the four in action winning through to the main draw.
Freya Christie, the beaten 2015 finalist at Shrewsbury, recovered from losing the opening set to get the better of higher ranked German Jule Niemeier 5-7, 6-2, 6-1. Christie, who spoke at tonight’s reception, will take on Bulgarian Isabella Shinikova in round one.
Maia Lumsden took just over an hour to sweep aside Iva Primorac 6-0, 6-2, her third victory in as many meetings against the Croatian, while Eden Silva beat German Tayisiya Morderger in three sets.
But Ella Taylor, the fourth Brit in action, bowed out, losing in straight sets to Eleni Kordolaimi from Greece.
Tomorrow’s first round matches start at 10am, with admission free for spectators throughout the week.
British No. 9 Maia Lumsden among the first day winners at The Shrewsbury Club
Pictured: Maia Lumsden, the British No. 9, was among the winners on the opening day of the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series tournament at The Shrewsbury Club. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography
Maia Lumsden, the current British No. 9, is targeting a place in the main draw and a successful end to the year after progressing from the first qualifying round as professional tennis returned to The Shrewsbury Club.
Lumsden, a 20-year-old Scot ranked 368 in the world, eased through 6-3, 6-1 against German Julia Wachaczyk as the $25,000 Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series women’s tournament got under way.
She needed just over an hour to wrap up victory in this morning’s opening match on Court 2 to set up a clash with Croatian Iva Primorac, a player she has beaten in both their previous meetings, in tomorrow’s second qualifying round.
Victory would secure a place in the main draw to be conducted during a civic reception at Budgen Motors on Featherbed Lane on Monday evening.
That will include Dutch ace Arantxa Rus, currently 108 in the world, which makes her the highest ranked player to enter this week’s popular event, and British No.4 Gabriella Taylor, now a career-best 164.
Lumsden, happy with her performance against Wachaczyk, said: “It’s just one match at a time, to try and get into the main draw. I played here last year and I always love this tournament, so I’d really like to get into the main draw.
“The club’s really nice and everyone makes a great effort. It’s always really well organised and a well run event, so a lot of the players like coming here.”
Lumsden, the top seed in the qualifiers, added: “I’ve had an okay year. Recently, I’ve been playing quite well and I had a good run in France a few weeks ago to the semi-finals.
"Overall, I’ve just been trying to keep my ranking going in the right direction which it has been, so I’m happy with that. This is probably my last event of the year, so it would be nice to have a good finish.”
Freya Christie, another rising British star, also enjoyed progress on the opening day of the tournament by beating German Anna Gabric 6-4, 6-4.
Christie, who reached the 2015 final at The Shrewsbury Club when she lost to French player Oceane Dodin, will celebrate her 21st birthday this week
The other British players to come through the first qualifying round were Eden Silva, who overcame fellow Brit Lillian Mould 6-2, 6-1, and Ella Taylor, who was 4-1 up in the opening set against Cristiana Ferrando when her Italian opponent had to retire.
Tomorrow's second qualifying round matches will start at 10.30am, with admission free for spectators to enjoy the action on The Shrewsbury Club’s indoor courts throughout the week.
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.
November 2017 - Women's $25K Pro-Series Highlights
Photography by Richard Dawson
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