Local tennis fans urged to support tournament

Shropshire tennis fans are being urged to support a top quality tournament featuring established world tour professionals being held in the county.

The Shrewsbury Club has again been chosen to host the Aegon GB Pro-Series tournament. Qualifying for the $10K singles and doubles event begins on Sunday, with tennis continuing throughout next week leading up to finals day on Saturday, March 1.

Tournament Director Richard Joyner, from the Lawn Tennis Association, hopes local tennis fans will take advantage of the free admission on offer.

Entry to the men's singles final at 1.30pm on March 1 will be via a programme available from The Shrewsbury Club on Sundorne Road.

Programmes are free to British Tennis members and to all spectators throughout the week while people just wishing to watch the final can buy a programme for £5.

Mr Joyner said: "We're really looking forward to returning to The Shrewsbury Club. Last year the players were very complimentary about the venue, its facilities, and their whole experience of the week.

"The event has a great blend of British and overseas players. 

"The final two days of the tournament will see a stand set up for spectators with two singles semi-finals and the doubles final on Friday, February 28 and the men’s singles final on Saturday, March 1.

"It will be preceded by a Tennis Express exhibition. The whole week is a great way to see close up some of the world’s up and coming players."

Danish No 1 Freddie Nielsen, who won the Wimbledon men's double title with Jonny Marray in 2012, has entered the tournament.

Nielsen, 30, previously ranked inside the top 20 in the world at doubles and top 200 for singles, has already won an ATP Tour doubles title this year in Chennai.

The highest ranked player in the men’s event is British No 4 Dan Cox, currently sitting at a career high of 244, while the other Brit’s in action include Ashley Hewitt, Liam Broady, Tom Farquharson, Josh Milton and Neil Pauffley. 

Nielsen spearheads a strong Scandinavian presence also featuring Finnish No 2 Mike Kontinen plus Swedish trio Isak Arvidsson, Patrik Rosenholm and Jacob Adaktusson, ranked three, four and five respectively in their country. 

All of the world’s top players sharpened their professional careers at the same level of the Shrewsbury tournament and a number of the players set to take part in the town are steadily working their way up the rankings in their quest to reach the top.

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Pete White Pete White

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