Professional tennis returning to The Shrewsbury Club with UK Pro League Finals Week in November
A prestigious tennis tournament for rising British stars, which was won last year by new US Open champion Emma Raducanu, will be held at The Shrewsbury Club in November.
Raducanu was the 2020 winner of the UK Pro League women’s title, with Liam Broady, who recently represented Great Britain at the Olympics, the tournament’s men’s champion.
Raducanu, 18, has since enjoyed a rapid rise to become the first British woman to win a Grand Slam since Virginia Wade was Wimbledon champion in 1977.
Rising British players, along with more established players, will be heading to Shropshire to compete in the UK Pro League Finals Week at The Shrewsbury Club between November 8-14.
Ticket details will be announced soon for an event which will be broadcast by BT Sport.
It is a welcome return to the county for professional tennis, with The Shrewsbury Club also selected to stage an International Tennis Federation World Tennis Tour event next February.
Dave Courteen, The Shrewsbury Club’s managing director, said: “The UK Pro League is a tournament that’s fantastic for both emerging and established British players.
“It plays an important part in both their development and in ensuring significant competitive opportunities.
“Emma Raducanu’s success since winning the UK Pro League last year is absolutely incredible.
“After reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon this summer, it was fantastic to see her win the US Open. It’s such an inspirational story.
“Liam Broady has also enjoyed an impressive year since winning the UK Pro League men’s title, including competing for Great Britain at the Olympics in Tokyo.
“Who knows who we are going to be watching this time when the event comes to The Shrewsbury Club - and what they may go on to achieve.
“It’s just exciting to be able to bring such a prestigious tournament that already has a great reputation for building tennis careers here to Shropshire.
“It will be broadcast by BT Sport, so it is a great opportunity for us to appeal to a wider audience.”
The UK Pro League - then known as the UK Pro Series - was held for the first time last year.
It’s a season-long competition that sees players competing for points at nine events around the country.
The top nine men and nine women will qualify for finals week when they will be joined by three players given wild cards.
The players will compete in a round robin format throughout the week in Shrewsbury, including evening matches, as they battle it out to be crowned champion and secure a share of the £115,000 prize money.
The tournament was originally created by River Media Partners in response to the first lockdown last year and the lack of competitive opportunities for British players at the time.
Dominic Hayes, River Media’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to be able to stage the UK Pro League Finals Week in front of crowds at The Shrewsbury Club.
“Having established the League last summer and having played this year behind closed doors due to the pandemic, it is great for the players to be able to perform in front of an audience and for people to be able to see high calibre British tennis talent up close.”
The Shrewsbury Club has developed an impressive reputation for successfully staging tennis tournaments, with many players to have graced its indoor courts going on to become world stars.
Dave added: “Staging professional tennis events has become a very popular part of life at The Shrewsbury Club.
“Our team enjoy putting the weeks on and it's a great chance to showcase the club, as well as promoting the town.
“This is a great opportunity for local tennis fans to watch up and coming British players, with the event a springboard for helping players with their careers.
“We are looking forward to being able to welcome back crowds and tickets will be on sale soon.
“We will be working with Beth Heath and her team at Shropshire Festivals to make it the best event possible, so it’s going to be a really exciting week.”
Pictured: Emma Raducanu, pictured with the trophy, was the women’s champion of the UK Pro League last year, with the finals week of this year's event to be held at The Shrewsbury Club in November. Picture: Ian Hall.