Shrewsbury Club All Set For Thrilling Weekend of Tennis
The domestic wheelchair tennis calendar comes to a celebratory end this weekend when the Tennis Foundation hosts the 2017 National Championships and the Roma Sport National Wheelchair Tennis Series Finals. Taking place from Friday 8th December to Sunday 10th December at the Shrewsbury Club, over 60 players of all ages and abilities will compete for the coveted titles in what will undoubtedly be a thrilling end to the season.
Former champions Dermot Bailey and David Phillipson and Phillipson’s fellow Paralympians Marc McCarroll and Kevin Simpson head the challengers for the National Championships men’s singles title. Scott Smith provides a local challenge for the National title after winning the crown for the first time in 2012 and more recently completing a hat-trick of Shrewsbury Wheelchair Tennis Tournament National Series titles in August.
Lauren Jones bids for a hat-trick of women’s singles National titles, with last year’s runner-up Caroline MacDonald and Shrewsbury’s Val Fisher likely to be among Jones’s main contenders. With National titles to be decided in men’s, women’s, quad and junior events, James Shaw also bids for a hat-trick of quad singles National titles. A bumper entry of 18 players will contest the junior singles, which has been the foundation for many a young player who has gone on to represent Great Britain internationally, including Josh Cooper and Alex Chaston - one of the leading contenders for this year’s junior title.
The Roma Sport National Wheelchair Tennis Series Finals entries include Shrewsbury’s Kevin Drake. Drake and Alex Krol were wheelchair tennis doubles gold medallists for the UK Team at September’s Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada. Drake and Krol are two of three of Invictus Games wheelchair tennis medallists playing in Shrewsbury this weekend.
Every player who has competed in a National Series event across the country in 2017 is eligible to contest this weekend’s Finals, which again includes main draw and also a novice division for less experienced players.
Tournament Director Liz Terry commented: “We are very excited for this week’s tournament, which showcases a wide range of ability levels and demonstrates that wheelchair tennis truly is an inclusive sport that can be enjoyed by all and which is accessible to all. Record numbers of disabled people are playing the sport across the Tennis Foundation’s network of venues and we are delighted to be bringing our year-end domestic finale to the Shrewsbury Club – a venue which has a long history of hosting National Series events, as well as being a tremendous example of an all-inclusive club which hosts wheelchair tennis sessions throughout the year.”
With play starting at 9am every day and entry free for all spectators, it’s set to be a memorable weekend of sport in the region.
Photography credit: Tennis Foundation