Heather Watson to entertain crowd on and off court
Pictured: Heather Watson, who has entered the Budgen Motors W100 tournament at The Shrewsbury Club, will also headline an evening of tennis conversation next week. Picture courtesy of Getty Images and the LTA.
British tennis star Heather Watson is set to entertain tennis fans both on and off court when the World Tennis Tour returns to Shropshire. Watson, who reached the fourth round of the ladies’ singles at Wimbledon earlier this year, is part of a strong British challenge at the Budgen Motors W100 tournament, which starts at The Shrewsbury Club this weekend.
Harriet Dart, Katie Swan, Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage are among the other leading British players to have entered the biggest indoor women’s tennis tournament held in the UK since the 1990s. Watson, Dart and Boulter have all been named in the Great Britain squad ahead of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Glasgow the following week, with GB one of 12 nations competing to be the best in the world.
Watson will also headline an evening of tennis conversation, alongside Iain Bates, the Lawn Tennis Association’s Head of Women’s Tennis, at The Shrewsbury Club next Wednesday night (2nd November), with limited tickets available.
Looking forward to returning to The Shrewsbury Club, Watson said: “Shrewsbury is one of the best events in Britain and the players absolutely love it. I have really fond memories of making the final there a few years ago.”
Watson and Bates - who has led the British tennis team at the last two Olympics - will offer Shropshire tennis fans a fascinating insight into their careers and life in professional tennis at next week’s hospitality event. They will also take part in a question and answer session with guests, with tickets for next Wednesday’s event, which cost £20 and also include food, as well as the chance to watch the day’s matches, now on sale.
Bates said: "I’m really looking forward to being involved with the event at The Shrewsbury Club alongside Heather and having the chance to talk to local tennis fans. I have been to Shrewsbury before and the tournaments they stage are always excellent. This event is very well timed as it will also serve as great preparation for the British players ahead of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Glasgow.
"The majority of the British squad will be playing in Shrewsbury and it's an ideal opportunity for them to get together and play in a high quality tournament.”
Qualifying rounds for the International Tennis Federation tournament take place on Sunday and Monday, with the main draw matches in both singles and doubles beginning next Tuesday. The prestigious event is part of the LTA’s Performance Competitions Calendar, which aims to provide enhanced playing opportunities for British players.
Nine players currently ranked in the world’s top 100 have entered the Shrewsbury tournament, led by Ukrainian star Anhelina Kalinina, who is currently 45 in the world.
Ticket prices for the Shrewsbury tournament, which include a 40-page programme, start from £7.50.
Finals Day tickets to enjoy the singles and doubles finals on Sunday, November 6 cost £17.50.
A day earlier, for the semi-finals on Saturday 5 November, there will be a Family Day, which will provide many off court activities for juniors, with free admission for under-16s accompanied by an adult.
A tournament pass to watch all matches throughout the week from court-side stands is available for £49, with a number of other special hospitality events also taking place at The Shrewsbury Club.