Tennis players of all ages set to take part in the Battle of Shropshire

Players of all ages from across the county are set to serve up an exciting week of team tennis when the Battle of Shropshire begins on Sunday.

Inspired by the recent success of the televised Battle of The Brits Team Tennis event, which featured top British players, a similar event is now to be held locally.

It will provide Shropshire tennis players with the opportunity to win points for their teams in matches played on the outside courts at The Shrewsbury Club.

The Battle of Shropshire competition has been arranged after Tennis Shropshire’s popular annual County Championships was one of many tournaments nationwide cancelled by the LTA owing to Covid-19 restrictions.

The new event will run at the same time reserved for the County Championships - and has quickly attracted a high level of interest from players keen to take part.

Players will be placed in two teams throughout the event - Team Sabin, named in honour of Cathie Sabin, Shropshire’s former LTA president, who sadly passed away in May, and Team Broadbent, in tribute to current Tennis Shropshire president Jilly Broadbent.

Simon Jones, the Tennis Shropshire chair, said players are looking forward to being part of a fun event as they strive to help their team to victory.

He added: “There’s a lot of interest from players from around the county. The first morning that details were released we had 18 names wanting to take part and by the end of the week that was up to more than 100 players. 

"Numbers will deliberately not be as high as what we we would normally have competing in the County Championship because of the social distancing measures which must be adhered to.

“Myself and Simon Haddleton, from Tennis Shropshire’s competitions committee, spoke around a month ago about looking into doing something different once the County Championships were cancelled.

“After enjoying watching the Battle of The Brits on television, Simon suggested that we run the Battle of Shropshire. 

“We will have two teams involving players from mini-reds right the way through to adults. 

“We will be running different events on different days, which will help the social distancing aspect, and we are looking forward to holding the event outdoors on four courts at The Shrewsbury Club.”  

Different categories will have the chance to win points for their teams, beginning, this Sunday, August 23, when mini-orange players and adults will be in action.

Mini-green, mini-red, under-11s, under-12s, under-14s, under-16s and under-18s will also be competing for points throughout the week.

The Battle of Shropshire will draw to a close on Saturday, August 29 when the team that has collected most points overall will be crowned winners.