From playing in Shrewsbury to becoming Wimbledon champion – it’s been some journey for Angelique Kerber.
The German ace last weekend became the first tennis star to have featured in one of The Shrewsbury Club’s popular professional tournaments to be crowned a Wimbledon singles champion.
Kerber, who beat Serena Williams 6-3, 6-3 in the ladies’ final at the All England Club, competed in the Pro-Series event at the Sundorne Road venue as an up and coming player in 2009.
Unlike this year’s Wimbledon Championships, where she swept aside all comers, she was knocked out in the quarter finals in Shrewsbury, beaten by British player Katie O’Brien.
Kerber, 30, has since enjoyed a spell at the top of the world rankings and has now added Wimbledon to her other Grand Slam triumphs at the Australian Open and US Open.
It was also a memorable Wimbledon for rising Belgian star Alison Van Uytvanck, 24, the Pro-Series champion in Shrewsbury in 2013, as she reached the fourth round, impressively knocking out defending champion Garbine Muguruza en route.
Two promising British players with recent experience of gracing The Shrewsbury Club’s courts also impressed in SW19 as they teamed up to reach the semi-finals in the mixed doubles.
Jay Clarke, 19, and Harriet Dart, 21, hinted at their potential during a memorable run eventually ended in the last four when they were beaten by Jamie Murray and Victoria Azarenka.
Dave Courteen, the managing director at The Shrewsbury Club, said the success enjoyed at Wimbledon by several players to have played in the town underlined the continued quality of the Shrewsbury tournaments.
He added: “We’re proud that we are asked to stage both a men’s and women’s event each year, which always attract many quality players from around Europe and beyond.
“This is another example of the calibre of players who line up at The Shrewsbury Club and we are pleased that Angelique Kerber is the first player to go from playing here in Shrewsbury to becoming a Wimbledon singles champion.
“Alison Van Uytvanck delighted Shrewsbury crowds more recently while it was fantastic to see both Jay Clarke and Harriet Dart perform so well in the mixed doubles and attract the headlines.
“One of the great aspects of our tournaments is that it allows spectators the opportunity to come along and watch great tennis for free and predict just who the stars of the future will be.
“We’ve always said you could be watching a future Wimbledon champion – and now it’s happened.”
Professional tennis will return to The Shrewsbury Club later this year with a $25,000 women’s tournament from November 4-10.
Pictured: Belgian star Alison Van Uytvanck was the 2013 Pro-Series champion at The Shrewsbury Club.