Marni Banks her Final Spot
Pictured: British player Amarni Banks produced another fine display to beat second seed Oceane Dodin in the semi-finals of the Budgen W100 Shrewsbury tournament. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Amarni Banks, the British player enjoying such a wonderful week in Shropshire, will face top seed Viktorija Golubic from Switzerland in the Budgen Shrewsbury W100 final tomorrow. Banks booked her place in the final by beating second seed Oceane Dodin, twice a Shrewsbury champion earlier in her career, in straight sets at The Shrewsbury Club. She produced the latest in a growing line of impressive performances as Dodin, 28, the French player currently ranked 115 in the world having been as high as 46, became the third of this week’s seeded players to lose to the inspired 21-year-old.
Having beaten two more seeded players, Harriet Dart and Simona Waltert, in the two previous rounds, Banks - set to significantly climb from her current ranking of 432 - maintained the winning habit by producing an accomplished display to overcome Dodin 7-6, 6-4. Dodin had been looking to feature in her third final at The Shrewsbury Club after winning lower level events at the Sundorne Road venue in both 2014 and 2015, but Banks had other ideas.
In the other semi-final, the consistent Golubic, the winner of the Rouen 125K Series title in France last week, extended her winning run to nine matches by getting the better of Suzan Lamens from the Netherlands in a thrilling match which lasted just under two and a half hours. Golubic, 31, currently 87 in the world rankings having been as high as 35 last year, was pushed all the way by Lamens, 24, before eventually sealing a hard-earned 7-5, 5-7, 7-5 triumph in another high-quality semi-final.
Now the stage is set for what promises to be an exciting ITF World Tennis Tour final as Banks and Golubic meet to determine who succeeds Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova in lifting the W100 Shrewsbury trophy.
Dave Courteen, The Shrewsbury Club’s managing director, said: “It’s a great final between the number one seed and a promising British player enjoying such a fantastic run.
"Viktorija Golubic continues to have an incredible career record. She’s regularly in the top 100, as is the case now. She’s won an Olympic silver medal, was part of the Switzerland team crowned Bille Jean King Cup winners last year, and also made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 2021.
“It’s brilliant to have a player of Viktorija’s calibre in the final, and the fact she will be playing against such a talented British player as Amarni Banks is tremendously exciting.
“Amarni has just wowed everybody with her outstanding tennis throughout the week. She has consistently faced players considerably higher than her in the world rankings and produced excellent wins.
“It’s a really intriguing final, so we are looking forward to welcoming a big crowd to The Shrewsbury Club, with very limited availability for the remaining tickets.
“Finals day is always such a wonderful occasion and it’s a day to look forward to.”
There will also be British interest in the doubles final later tomorrow afternoon, with British number three Harriet Dart, partnered by Australian Olivia Gadecki, playing Estonian Elena Malygina and Barbora Palicova from the Czech Republic. Dart and Gadecki, this week’s top seeds, advanced to the final by beating British duo Madeleine Brooks and Holly Hutchinson 6-0, 6-3 in today’s opening match in the DMOS People Arena.
The singles final starts tomorrow at 1.30pm, with the doubles final to follow.