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International tennis returns to Wirral

International pro tennis returns to the Wirral Tennis & Leisure Centre, Bidston, from Sunday, October 22, to Saturday, October 28.

The Aegon GB Pro-Series Wirral is an ITF Pro Circuit women’s $15k event with a great blend of British and international players on the entry list. All the world’s top players sharpened their pro careers at this level, and a number of the players in action in Wirral are steadily working their way up the rankings in their quest to reach the top.

The highest ranked player is Brit Freya Christie. This time last year, the Nottingham teenager had a world ranking of 286, and reached the Wimbledon Junior Doubles semi-final in 2015. Recovering from injury, she arrives in Wirral in her first comeback tournament since the end of July.

The second highest ranked player competing will be Italian Lucrezia Stefanini, 19, who plays double handed both sides. She has made an impressive transition from the junior game. Having played all four junior grand slam events in 2016, Lucrezia won her first pro title in Tunisia in May, and has reached a number of semi-finals in 2017, including Tunisia this month, and Trieste in September. She is joined by a contingent of Italians descending upon Wirral with Anna-Giulia Remondina, Federica Di Sarra, and Maria Masini all in action.

There is regional interest with Sam Murray, who comes from Stockport, and reached a career high of 165 before a long term injury, the third highest ranked player in main draw. Of local interest, there is Sarah Beth Grey, from Wallasey, who won the women’s doubles title at this event in 2016 with Olivia Nicholls. British interest in the main draw includes Maia Lumsden, Eden Silva, Jodie Burrage, and Alicia Barnett.

The qualifying event includes Hannah Mccolgan from Bramhall, and Olivia Peet, from Bury, both 17, with 18 year-old Ellie Tsimbilakis, from Wirral, and 15-year-old Holly Staff, from Swinton, also hoping to qualify.

The women’s qualifying event is Sunday and Monday, and main draw starts Tuesday.

Richard Joyner, Tournament Director, said ‘We’re really looking forward to returning to Wirral. This is the second time we have staged an international women’s event here, and we have a great mix of British and overseas players’.

Admission for spectators is free throughout the week, with courtside seating for the Women’s Singles final at 11am on Saturday, October 28. The whole week is a great way to see close up some of the world’s up and coming players.

Entry throughout the week is free to spectators, and from Tuesday you can follow the action through live scoring on the LTA web-site www.lta.org.uk/agbps

For an updated player list www.itftennis.com/procircuit/tournaments/women’s-tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100040936

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