Pro Tennis returns to Sunderland

Pro tennis returns to Sunderland

Men’s and women’s international pro tennis returns to Sunderland at the Sunderland Tennis Centre, Sunday 25 January to Sunday 1 February 2015.

Find out more about the Pro tennis in Sunderland event.

The Aegon GB Pro-Series Sunderland is an ITF Pro Circuit Men’s and Women’s $10k event with a great blend of British and overseas 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 at Sunderland are steadily working their way up the rankings in their quest to reach the top.

The women’s entry list is headed up by Russian, Marta Sirotkina. The 23 year old from Moscow, is no stranger to competing in Britain having won a $25k event at Foxhills in 2014, together with a $75k event at Barnstaple, at the end of 2013. She has 12 pro singles titles to her name, and in 2013 was close to breaking into the world’s top 100. With a current ranking of 239 Marta is looking to use Sunderland as a platform to rise up the rankings.

The highest ranked British girl is Tara Moore with a world ranking of 321. The British number 6 often trains with Sirotkina in London, and like the Russian is looking to regain her place in the world top 200. 22 year old Moore has played the main draw at Wimbledon for the past two years, and won her first pro singles title as a 15 year old in 2008.

Local interest in women’s qualifying includes Alex Walker, from Ryton, whilst Grace Dixon from Whickham, and Donia Abdel-Aziz, from Stockton on Tees are hoping to join Alex in qualifying.

The highest ranked player in the men’s event is British number 5 Ed Corrie, with a world ranking of 235, whilst British number 7 Dan Smethurst, is looking to win for the third year in a row at the Sunderland Tennis Centre. The 24 year old from Manchester, who trains in Nottingham, not only one the singles title in 2013 and 2014, but also gained his first ever world ranking point as a 17 year old.

On returning to Sunderland, Smethurst said ‘I’m really looking forward to coming back. Obviously I have good memories from the last two years, plus I won my first ever world ranking point at Sunderland Tennis Centre. We are made to feel very welcome by everyone, and I hope to do well again this year’.

Dan Cox, makes it a trio of Brits competing who are ranked inside the top 300, whilst the overseas challenge is headed up Micke Kontinen (Finland), and Isak Arvidsson (Sweden). The Scandinavian duo who faced each other in last year’s Shrewsbury final, will be joined in Sunderland by Sergei Bubka, son the of the legendary Olympic pole vault world record holder.

Teenager Daniel Bennett, and Jonny Binding, both from Sunderland, head up the local challenge in men’s qualifying.

Richard Joyner, Tournament Director, said ‘We’re really looking forward to returning to Sunderland. Last year’s women’s singles finalists, both moved into the top 100 in 2014. Entry for spectators is free throughout the week, with courtside seating for the final’s week end, Saturday 31 January and 1 February. The whole week is a great way to see close up some of the world’s up and coming players’

‘We are made to feel very welcome at the Centre, and in addition to the matches Graham Fowler, Tennis Development Officer for Sunderland, is organizing a number of tennis activities during the week.

For further information on this contact Graham on 0191 561 5901 or email graham.fowler@sunderland.gov.uk

Men’s qualifying is Sunday 25 and Monday 26 January, with main draw Tuesday 27 to Saturday 31 January, whilst women’s qualifying is Monday and Tuesday, with main draw Wednesday to Sunday.

Entry throughout the week is free to spectators, whilst you can follow the action through live scoring on the Lawn Tennis Association online page.

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Did you know?

Sunderland marks the easterly end of the 140-mile C2C (Coast to Coast) route. The C2C cycle trail from Whitehaven in Cumbria to Sunderland is Britain's most popular long distance route, with up to 15,000 cyclists completing it every year.

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