Wildcards Announced Whilst Watson and Swan Withdraw Injured
Picture: Sonay Kartal, the winner of the UK Pro League women’s title at The Shrewsbury Club last November, is returning to the town to play in the W100 tournament. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.
Four British players have been given main draw wild cards for the World Tennis Tour event which starts at The Shrewsbury Club this weekend - while Heather Watson and Katie Swan have withdrawn from the tournament owing to injury.
Sonay Kartal, crowned UK Pro League women’s champion at The Shrewsbury Club last November, has received a wild card, along with Lily Miyazaki, the winner of a W60 tournament in Glasgow last week, Marni Banks, another promising British player and Eden Silva, another regular visitor to Shrewsbury and former Wimbledon doubles quarter finalist.
They will take their place in a strong main draw line up for the Budgen Motors W100 tournament featuring leading British players Harriet Dart - second in the British women’s rankings - Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage, alongside a host of international stars.
Dave Courteen, The Shrewsbury Club’s managing director, said: “The crowd always enjoy watching British players and seeing them do well, so it’s good news that Sonay Kartal, Lily Miyazaki, Eden Silva and Marni Banks have received wild cards to join the other British players in the main draw.
“There’s also the opportunity for more British players to secure a spot in the main draw if they can come through two qualifying rounds.
"It is of course disappointing that we have lost a couple of high-profile British players through injury in Heather Watson and Katie Swan, but we still have a terrific field with the players that are in the draw.
"Heather had a terrific week in Glasgow last week reaching the final and playing some very lengthy matches, so understandably she needs to be focussed on getting fit for the Great Britain team competing in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals taking place the week after the Shrewsbury tournament and not take any risks, especially now Emma Raducanu will miss the tie.
"We look forward to welcoming both her and Katie back to Shrewsbury again in the future and wish both players well.”
He added: “So much planning has been put into preparing for this W100 tournament and it’s so exciting that it gets under way this weekend.
“It’s fantastic that players of the quality of Tatjana Maria, a ladies’ singles semi-finalist at Wimbledon this year, Marketa Vondrousova, who reached the French Open final in 2019, Anhelina Kalinina, who is currently 45 in the world, and so many more top players are heading to Shrewsbury to play."
Rising British star Kartal, 20, is delighted to be returning to Shropshire after impressing local tennis fans with her performances in winning the UK Pro League last year.
She is now ranked just outside the world’s top 200 having been just inside the world’s top 1,000 at the time of her triumph at The Shrewsbury Club.
Looking forward to playing in the town again, Kartal said: "When everything was finalised and I found out I would be coming back to Shrewsbury, I was very happy.
"It’s coming up to a year since I last played here and it’s a club where I felt like things were finally starting to fall into place in my career.
"I’m excited to be returning and I’m looking forward to getting going.”
Miyazaki, 26, is currently eighth in the British rankings and heads to Shrewsbury after beating Watson in three sets in last Sunday’s W60 final in Glasgow, while Banks, 20, underlined her potential by reaching the final of a W25 tournament in Roehampton in August.
The W100 Shrewsbury tournament is the latest event on the LTA’s enhanced Performance Competition Calendar that has provided more opportunities for British players to compete more often domestically at a higher level and make progressive ranking improvements.
The opening qualifying round starts on Sunday morning, with the main draw matches in singles and doubles beginning next Tuesday.
Ticket prices, 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 special hospitality events also taking place at The Shrewsbury Club.