International Tennis Shrewsbury

Pro-Am tennis party night proves a big hit at The Shrewsbury Club

Pictured: The tennis players who took part in the exhibition doubles match here at The Shrewsbury Club, from left: Freya Christie, Dave Williams, Sarah Hardie and Marcus Willis.

Tennis stars Marcus Willis and Freya Christie teamed up with players from Shropshire clubs for a Pro-Am exhibition match during an enjoyable tennis party night here at The Shrewsbury Club. Marcus, who memorably faced Roger Federer on Centre Court in the second round at Wimbledon in 2016, and Freya, who reached the women’s final of the UK Pro League in Shrewsbury last November, played a one-set doubles match. Freya partnered Dave Williams from Market Drayton Tennis Club, with Marcus lining up alongside Sarah Hardie from Baschurch Tennis Club. 

The event, sponsored by Codebreak and Team4You, took place the night before finals day at the Budgen Motors ITF World Tennis Tour M25 tournament, with guests entertained in a marquee before watching the tennis. Dave Courteen, The Shrewsbury Club’s managing director, said: “We were delighted to be able to host another really successful fun evening, a tennis party night enjoyed by a number of guests.

“The combination of street food, live music and exhibition tennis proved to be a winning one and everybody had a really great night.

“Freya Christie and Dave Williams renewed their winning partnership on court from November’s Pro-Am event held during the UK Pro League tournament with a very close 7-6 victory, with Marcus Willis and Sarah Hardie providing strong opposition in an entertaining match.

“Marcus and Sarah represented Team4You, with Freya and Dave representing Codebreak. It was a really enjoyable event expertly hosted by Abigail Johnson.”

Tennis Shropshire chair Fiona Jones added: “We are always delighted to work with The Shrewsbury Club as they do so much supporting tennis in the county.

“It was lovely to give a couple of club players, Sarah and Dave, the opportunity to play a set with players of the quality of Marcus and Freya.” 

Dave Williams said he enjoyed the experience of playing in a match involving two professional players.

He added: “It was a fantastic night and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. 

“It was so good to get an insight into how good the pro players are. I feel so lucky to have had the chance to have been partnered by Freya and to have played against Marcus, who has played against Roger Federer on Centre Court at Wimbledon.

“Thanks to everyone who attended the event, especially the contingent from Market Drayton Tennis Club. The atmosphere and the cheering was fantastic."