Maia Lumsden’s memorable week in Shrewsbury ended in title glory as she was crowned champion of the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series women’s tournament.
The 20-year-old from Glasgow, having emerged from the qualifying rounds, sealed a seventh victory in as many days by beating former top 100 player Valeria Savinykh 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 in an exciting final in front of a big crowd at The Shrewsbury Club.
It’s Lumsden’s first International Tennis Federation $25,000 title and she is the first British champion at the Shrewsbury event since Elena Baltacha was also a hugely popular winner in 2009.
Lumsden, the British No. 9, joins an illustrious list of names of Shrewsbury champions on the club’s winners’ board in the tournament’s 11-year history.
“I’ve seen the names up on the board, so it will be pretty cool to be up there with the other winners because there’s some great players,” she said.
Her victory completed a successful 24 hours for British tennis after Sarah Beth Grey and Olivia Nicholls won the doubles final on The Shrewsbury Club’s indoor courts.
Lumsden and Russian Savinykh went into the final next to each other in the world rankings, with Lumsden one place higher in 376, but she will now significantly climb in the right direction following her impressive triumph.
She took the first set in just 25 minutes and, after Savinykh, once ranked as high as 99, levelled up the match, Lumsden played an excellent final set, wrapping up victory by serving an ace.
“I started really well in the first set,” she said. “Then the second set, I was just trying to stay focused and obviously she got it, so then the third set, I had to step it up.”
Delighted to have won the event, Lumsden, who was runner-up in the doubles final alongside Katie Swan at Shrewsbury 12 months earlier, admitted: “Yes, I think I have surprised myself. Every match was tough in this tournament because it was a strong field.”
She has enjoyed her week in Shropshire and relished playing in front of such a big crowd in the final.
“It’s so good,” she stressed. “I always love playing in front of a crowd and this doesn’t happen every week at tournaments at this level, so this really is the best $25,000 level tournament.”
Lumsden, beaten in three sets in her only previous $25,000 singles final in Glasgow in February, added: “It’s my last ITF event of the year – a perfect way to finish the year.”
Dave Courteen, the managing director of The Shrewsbury Club, said he was pleased that Lumsden’s excellent form throughout the tournament had been rewarded by becoming champion.
He said: “It’s wonderful to have a British winner in the women’s event. We’ve had some British winners before in the men’s event in the seven years that we’ve been operating the club, but have always wanted to have a British woman win as well and Maia has just been a delight all week.
“She’s played some wonderful tennis and has joined in with everything she’s been asked to do to help make this event so special, so there couldn’t be a more fitting winner.
“She’s been such a good part of the week. She had a real fight in some of her matches and playing seven matches in seven days is tough by anybody’s standards.
“It just helps builds the excitement for the events we are hosting next year. It was another good turn out for the final, probably a crowd of more than 400, so it was great to see so many people and I’m delighted that it’s been a really successful week.”
Julie Piper, the tournament director for the Lawn Tennis Association, added: “Once again it’s been a fantastic week, a very strong entry, probably the strongest $25,000 tournament I’ve seen for a long time. It was great to have British girls win both the singles and doubles.”
Pictured: Maia Lumsden in action on her way to victory in the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series final at The Shrewsbury Club. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.