Towering German Oscar Otte completed back-to-back tournament victories by getting the better of British ace Marcus Willis in an entertaining Aegon GB Pro-Series final at The Shrewsbury Club.
Otte, 23, triumphed 7-5, 7-6 in front of an enthralled crowd of around 500 spectators to win his second $15,000 event in as many weeks.
Both men had reached the final without dropping a set and what promised to be an exciting match certainly lived up to expectations.
Otte, seeded seven for the tournament, said: “It’s been a good couple of weeks with winning in Tipton and now here in Shrewsbury.
“I hope my ranking will go up to about 360 or 370.
“It was nice to play in front of a good crowd – it makes you feel good. I have enjoyed both weeks and have felt comfortable. I think that’s the reason why I have played so well.”
Otte now plans to take a short break at home in Cologne before playing in a Challenger event in Lille in France.
Willis, 26, also beaten in the doubles final a day earlier, proved a big attraction for local tennis fans throughout the week in Shrewsbury after his exploits in reaching the second round at Wimbledon last summer when he was knocked out by Roger Federer on Centre Court.
Willis, the No 5 seed, said: “It was obviously a disappointing ending, but a positive week again playing good tennis. Yes, it’s frustrating, but this is tennis. This is what you have to get used to – you win some, you lose some.
“I played well and lost a tight one, and what can you do? A few things didn’t go my way and that was it.”
The score was almost a repeat of the last occasion Willis reached the Aegon final in Shrewsbury when he lost narrowly 7-6, 7-6 to current British Davis Cup ace Dan Evans in 2013.
Julie Piper, the tournament director for the Lawn Tennis Association, said there was a great atmosphere for the final.
“We have once again had an excellent week in Shrewsbury,” she said. “It is always a pleasure to return here because everyone is so supportive and friendly.”
Dave Courteen, the managing director of The Shrewsbury Club, added the final was a fitting finale to an enjoyable week of quality tennis.
He was delighted that so many local tennis fans took advantage of free admission to watch the action.
He added: “It was a really close final. It was probably not the result that the home crowd wanted but it was a great match. A few tight calls were the difference between winning and losing as there was very little in it.
“Both players were brilliant, signing lots of autographs and posing for photos afterwards, and it’s been another wonderful tournament.
“”We’ve once again broken records in terms of the attendances throughout the week and we’re really proud that this tournament is establishing itself as a really popular event in Shrewsbury.
“We now look forward to hosting the Aegon GB Pro-Series women’s tournament later in the year, which will start on November 5.”
It was the second successive year that a German player had beaten a Brit in the final following Yannick Maden’s victory over Ed Corrie 12 months ago.
Pictured: Oscar Otte, the 2017 Aegon GB Pro-Series champion, at The Shrewsbury Club. Picture by Richard Dawson.