The Budgen Motors W100 tournament featured five players currently ranked in the world’s top 100 and was well supported by local tennis fans, with a capacity crowd of more than 500 people recently enjoying the finals day.
The event also attracted excellent backing from the Shropshire business community.
Dave Courteen, The Shrewsbury Club’s managing director, said it is only possible to bring such high-profile events to the town because of the support the club receives from around the county.
The tournament, part of the Lawn Tennis Association’s Performance Competitions Calendar, which aims to provide enhanced playing opportunities for British players, featured five players currently ranked in the British women’s top 10.
Dave said: “The LTA’s delighted with how the tournament was staged. I think it exceeded their expectations in terms of all the interaction and the events we held around the tennis in the hospitality marquee opposite the main entrance to the club.
“That’s the key in why they wanted to bring the event to Shrewsbury because they know the local community really responds, including the business community with their excellent support.
“It was a great event from our perspective and we are grateful for all the support from the sponsors. Without them, the event would not have happened.
“We have had great feedback from the LTA and they are really keen to come back to Shrewsbury with another event.”
Marketa Vondrousova won both the tournament’s singles and doubles titles.
Vondrousova, who reached the 2019 French Open final, beat Eva Lys in the singles final, before partnering Miriam Kolodziejova to victory in the doubles final.
Vondrousova then went straight from Shrewsbury to Glasgow to represent the Czech Republic in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals. Dave added: “The tournament was a big step up from anything we’ve organized before, both in terms of the organization and also the quality of the play.
“We shouldn’t underestimate the quality of the tennis we saw. A number of players competing here will be in the top 40 in the world within the next year.
“We had a Wimbledon semi-finalist from earlier this year, Tatjana Maria, playing in Shrewsbury, so the tennis was incredible and the level of support was amazing.
“We’ve never had such big attendances throughout the week and finals day sold out when we also put in extra seating.
“I am grateful to the team here at The Shrewsbury Club for how hard they worked. We also really appreciate the support from members. It was a lot busier throughout the week and a great opportunity to showcase the club.”
Oliver Benbow, operations director at Budgen Motors, said the company was delighted to be the lead sponsor of the W100 tournament.
The Shropshire-based automotive group also sponsors The Shrewsbury Club’s popular schools’ tennis program, with nearly 200 Shropshire primary school pupils enjoying a fun day at the club during the tournament.
Oliver added: “It was a superb week and great to be involved once again with Dave and the team at The Shrewsbury Club as they put in lots of hard work to make the event happen.
“It was great to have some of our products on show, both court side and in the hospitality marquee, so a lot of people were drawn to those.
“The quality of tennis was absolutely superb. It was fantastic to have a tournament like this in Shrewsbury.”
Budgen Motors held a competition throughout the tournament, with Harrison Gwilt announced as the winner by Oliver when the prize draw took place on the Shropshire Live breakfast program hosted by Chris Pritchard and broadcast from The Shrewsbury Club earlier this week.
Harrison has won two tickets to enjoy a day at the Cinch Championships at The Queen’s Club in London next summer, as well as an overnight hotel stay in the capital, with Budgen Motors also lending Harrison a car for his trip to London.