Women’s international tennis returns to the indoors courts of Edgbaston Priory Club from Sunday 30 March to Saturday 5 April, with free entry to spectators.
The Aegon GB Pro-Series Edgbaston is an ITF Pro Circuit women’s $25k event, and now in its 2nd year is quickly establishing itself as a strong lead up women’s pro event to the pre-Wimbledon Aegon Classic at the club in June.
All the world’s top players sharpened their pro careers at this level, and this year’s line-up is extremely strong with 13 players ranked inside the world’s top 200, a number of who have also been ranked inside the top 75.
2013 champion Ekaterina Bychkova is returning to Birmingham, having already won a women’s $25k title last month in Nottingham. The 28 year old Russian, who’s career high ranking is 66, beat Angelica Moratelli 6-4 6-3 in last year’s final.
Whilst the highest ranked player, is 22 year old Pole Magda Linette, who is currently at a career high ranking of 115, and is returning to Europe having just played qualifying at the WTA Premier events in Indian Wells and Miami.
The British challenge will be led by British number 4, Naomi Broady, British number 5 Sam Murray, and British number 6 Tara Moore. Broady will be arriving in the West Midlands on the back of winning a $10k title in Sharm El Sheikh, whilst 21 year old Moore returns having reached the semi-final in 2013.
British number 5, Sam Murray, who has only recently returned to competition after a lengthy injury lay-off, will be looking to use Edgbaston as a springboard back towards her highest ranking of 165, which she held last September before her enforced time on the sidelines.
In addition there should be local interest in the qualifying event, with 20 year old Manisha Foster from Moseley, who is a member of the club though currently based at the Soto Academy in Spain, whilst 16 year old Emily Smith, from Erdington, is hoping to play qualifying, having trained at the club since the age of 12.
Richard Joyner, Tournament Director, said ‘This is my first year at Edgbaston, and I’m really looking forward to next week. It is a particularly strong women’s $25k event with a number of former top 75 players all coming to the West Midlands. Whilst, with the British number 4, 5, and 6 also in action there promises to be some great tennis on show, and entry for spectators is free throughout the week’.
Joyner added ‘The women’s singles final is scheduled for 11.30am on Saturday 5 April, taking place after the club’s Wimbledon ticket ballot, with court side seating for the final.’
Women’s qualifying is Sunday 30 & Monday 31 March, with main draw Tuesday 1 April to Saturday 5 April. As well as coming along to watch, you can follow the action through live scoring, on www.lta.org.uk/aegongbproseries . Whilst the last three days, are also being live streamed, through the same web-site address.