Defending champion Oceane Dodin faces rising British star Freya Christie in the Aegon GB Pro-Series final at The Shrewsbury Club this afternoon.
Christie is the first British player to reach the Shrewsbury final since Heather Watson lost to German Mona Barthel in 2011.
Dodin, yet to lose a set this week, advanced with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Dutch No 4 seed Lesley Kerkhove in the first of yesterday’s semi-finals.
Then Christie, who had to come through two qualifying matches to take her place in the main draw, maintained her excellent form by overcoming Belgian teenager Greet Minnen 7-5, 6-2 in the second last four clash at the $25,000 event.
A big crowd is expected to enjoy today’s final which will get under way at 1.30pm, with admission free.
French prospect Dodin, currently ranked 149 in the world, said she’s pleased with her form this week and now hopes to become the first player to make it back-to-back Shrewsbury titles.
“It’s an amazing tournament and I’m so glad to be in the final here,” said Dodin, 19. “I hope to win this tournament. We will see, but I really hope. I try to do my best in every match and at the moment it’s okay.
“I’m playing well. My game is good and I try to stay focused on every point.”
Dodin smiled at the fact she will meet a qualifier in the final given it was the position she found herself in last year when she ended up beating German star Carina Witthoeft, seeded three, in straight sets.
She added she’s just pleased to find herself in the final after an excellent year which has seen her rocket up the world rankings.
She said: “Now I don’t have a lot of pressure because I’m in the final, so we will see, but I hope to win this tournament and go home with the trophy.
“It’s a very good tournament. The people here are amazing. It’s always a pleasure to be here.”
Nottingham teenager Christie, currently a career-best 531 in the world and climbing all the time, is thrilled to have secured a place in today’s showpiece.
Her previous best performance in a $25,000 tournament was reaching the last eight at an event in Bath last week.
Christie produced another accomplished performance to sweep past Belgian teenager Minnen, a fellow qualifer, in straight sets.
“I’m playing well, so I’m really happy,” she said.
More than 100 youngsters from local schools enjoyed the action at The Shrewsbury Club yesterday with many of them having the chance to take part in special coaching workshops with top coach Judy Murray.
The mother of world No 2 Andy also entertained guests by topping the bill at a sporting dinner held at the club last night.
Pictured: Freya Christie – looking forward to facing No 1 seed Oceane Dodin in today’s Aegon GB Pro-Series final at The Shrewsbury Club. Picture by Richard Dawson.