Latest International Tennis News
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.
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Photography by Richard Dawson
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