Lauren McMinn, the ambitious Shrewsbury tennis ace, is spending the week training in Belgium before striving to make an impact in the Aegon GB Pro-Series tournament which starts in her home town this weekend.
Lauren earned her first world ranking last year after impressively battling through qualifying in the prestigious $25K event held at The Shrewsbury Club, where she regularly trains.
Now the 21-year-old Shrewsbury girl, from Bowbrook, hopes to underline her potential by shining in front of a host of family and friends once again.
She said: “I’m really looking forward to playing at The Shrewsbury Club again and it’s such a lovely venue.
“I’m training in Belgium this week. It’s hard work but enjoyable and I hope it all pays off in this tournament.”
Qualifying for the Aegon event begins this Sunday and the draw for the first round will be made during a civic reception at The Shrewsbury Club on Monday.
Top quality tennis featuring rising stars of the professional women’s game from around Europe will be on offer free of charge at the Sundorne Road venue throughout next week leading up to the final next Saturday, September 20.
German ace Sabine Lisicki, who has since graced the Wimbledon singles final, is the most notable name to have competed in the Shrewsbury tournament in the past along with Brits Laura Robson and Heather Watson, while last year’s winner, Belgian Alison Van Uytvanck, is now up to 83 in the world rankings.
Lauren, who has taken part in tournaments in Egypt, Belgium and Sweden this year as well as around the UK, collected another ranking point from an Aegon event in Barnstaple last week, beating fellow Brit Jessica Simpson in the qualifiers before losing in round one to Lithuanian Lina Stanciute.
Currently ranked 1,227 in the world, Lauren will now hope to give local tennis fans something to cheer, just like last year when she impressively beat Swedish player Malin Ulvefeldt, ranked in the world’s top 650, to earn a place in the main draw, bowing out to eventual runner-up, Russian Marta Sirotkina.
Dave Courteen, managing director of The Shrewsbury Club, said Lauren’s presence in this year’s tournament only serves to add to the interest.
“It’s great to have a Shrewsbury player in the tournament and we all wish Lauren well,” he added. “She spends a lot of time training at the club and is very popular.
“It was wonderful to see Lauren perform so well in last year’s tournament to earn a world ranking for the first time and we are looking forward to seeing how she performs this time.
“This is a great tournament, an opportunity for spectators to pick out stars of the future, and we are delighted to have been asked to host it once again.
“Hopefully lots of local people will come along to The Shrewsbury Club to enjoy the tennis and everyone is guaranteed a warm welcome.”
Pictured: Shrewsbury’s Lauren McMinn – spending the week in Belgium preparing for her home town tournament.