South set to do battle on two fronts
Paul Dancey on 22/07/2012
Wrexham is gearing up for two weeks of world class tennis as the AEGON GB Pro-series rolls into town – and is offering free entry to spectators.
This kicks off with the women's $25,000 tournament which runs from 23 – 29 July at the North Wales Regional Tennis Centre.
Melanie South (world No.295) will be flying the flag as Britain's top ranked player in the tournament and the second highest ranked player in the draw.
Samantha Murray, Lisa Whybourn and Emily Webley-Smith are the other Brits in the main draw and all will be hoping to put on a good show in front of a home crowd.
It won’t be easy though as Donna Vekic from Croatia comes into the tournament as the commanding favourite. Slovakia’s Lenka Wienerova, Latvia's Diana Marcinkevica and Adriana Perez from Venezuela will also pose a tough challenge to the British players.
The second week of action, which runs from 30 July – 5 August, is the men's $15,000 and women’s $10,000 combined event. The men’s event runs from Sunday 29 July until Saturday 4 August, with the women’s event scheduled for Monday 30 July to Sunday 5 August.
In the women's draw there will be a strong British contingent present with South leading a talented British pack.
She will face stiff competition from fellow Brits Lisa Whybourn, Samantha Murray, Jade Windley, Anna Fitzpatrick and Francesca Stephenson who all feature in the top ten entries .
A strong Japanese threat will also exist in the shape of Mai Minokoshi and Chiaki Okadaue.
Josh Goodall, the highest ranked player on the acceptance list, is favourite to take the title in the men’s draw.
He will be joined by Richard Bloomfield, Dan Evans, Joshua Milton, Andrew Fitzpatrick, Dan Cox, Edward Corrie, Sean Thornley, Lewis Burton and Marcus Willis in the main draw.
Although they will have to keep an eye out for France's Mathieu Rodrigues and Michael Look from Australia as both have performed well in the Pro-series over the summer.
Tournament Director Sarah Wooding said: "I'm looking forward to returning to the North Wales Regional Tennis Centre in Wrexham for two weeks of what promises to be top quality tennis.
"There is plenty of British interest in all three events, with many world ranked players returning to Wrexham. Lenka Wienerova reached the final of both the singles and doubles at the $25,000 event last year, teaming up with Melanie South in the doubles.
"Josh Goodall won the men's $10,000 event in August 2011 and he is returning in 2012 for the $15,000 event, along with Sean Thornley who reached the singles final last year and won the doubles title with David Rice.
"Two weeks of international tennis in Wrexham provides a great opportunity for local tennis fans to come to watch. I'm sure it will be two weeks of top tennis with some of the best young players in the world taking to the courts."
Further information about these events can be found on the LTA website.
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