Evolutionary Tennis sees rising British youngsters heading to Shrewsbury
Pictured: Isabelle Lacy, in action at The Shrewsbury Club last year, is one of the rising British stars playing in the Budgen W100 Shrewsbury tournament. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Shrewsbury has long been proud of its reputation as the home of evolution, being the birthplace of Charles Darwin, and next week it is going to be playing a part in British tennis evolution as the ITF World Tennis Tour tournament is held at The Shrewsbury Club.
A number of the country’s most exciting up and coming players, including Isabelle Lacy, Ranah Stoiber and Hannah Klugman will also be playing on our indoor courts. These girls are just breaking through onto the senior tour from hugely succesful careers at junior level and will be ready to go toe-to-toe with some of the highest ranked British players to have entered the event including Harriet Dart, Lily Miyazaki and Katie Swan, all currently in the British top 10.
That’s welcomed by Iain Bates, the LTA’s head of women’s tennis: “There have been a number of encouraging performances from British juniors this year,” he said. "Making the transition from top international junior events to the pro tour is one of the hardest challenges in tennis, so the opportunity to play in big tournaments at home is a huge advantage that our younger players will be looking to capitalise on.”
Lacy, 17, currently ranked just outside the world’s top 600, reached the second round of qualifying in Shrewsbury last year, losing to experienced Belgian player Yanina Wickmayer, once ranked as high as 12 in the world. She beat a top 100 player for the first time this summer when she got the better of the USA’s Madison Brengle, the former world number 35, in the first round of the W100 Surbiton tournament.
Lacy quickly followed it up by beating Switzerland’s Viktorija Golubic - who is set to be the top seed in Shrewsbury - at the W100 Ilkley tournament. Will she get the chance to repeat that upset next week?
Lacy also teamed up with Hannah Klugman to reach the girls’ doubles semi-finals at this year’s Junior Wimbledon. Klugman, 14, has also enjoyed an excellent year and progressed to the quarter-finals of the US Open Junior Championship girls’ singles last month.
Stoiber, 18, enjoyed a similar run at Flushing Meadows last year and earlier this year impressively made the last eight of the girls’ singles at Junior Wimbledon and the semi-finals of the Australian Open Junior Championships.
Dave Courteen, The Shrewsbury Club’s managing director, said: “Jack Draper played here as an up and coming British player in a lower ranked $25,000 event we held in 2019. He was aged 17 at the time and it was exciting to see him playing here in Shrewsbury. You could clearly see the quality he had. He’s since gone on to feature in the world’s top 50.
“With the potential of Hannah Klugman, Isabelle Lacy and Ranah Stoiber, they all have the ability to go on and enjoy really successful careers and to achieve big things.
“This is a great opportunity for local tennis fans to watch some of the best young British players competing in a very strong field.”