More than 150 spectators enjoyed the men’s singles final in the Aegon GB Pro-Series at The Shrewsbury Club as eighth seed Isak Arvidsson claimed victory in straight sets.
An appreciative Shrewsbury crowd were treated to a fine exhibition of tennis with Arvidsson prevailing 6-3, 7-5 against Finland’s Micke Kontinen, the tournament’s third seed.
While it was a highly competitive clash, the two Scandinavians, who are good friends and doubles partners, showed a mutual respect for each other throughout the 90 minute final.
Arvidsson, 21, gained an early break of serve which set him on his way to capture the opening set but he was immediately put under pressure on his own serve in the early stages of the second.
An early break would have certainly swung the momentum in favour of Kontinen, the Finnish No 2, but Arvidsson managed to serve his way out of trouble each time and then secured a crucial break at 5-5.
Chasing his second career singles title, and the first outside his homeland, the Swede confidently served out for the title. Arvidsson, beaten in the doubles final alongside Kontinen, also 21, the previous day, said: “I’m delighted to capture my first title of 2014, and feel I served really well. It’s a bit different when playing a good friend, but I’ve had a great week here in Shrewsbury.
“A big thank you to the tournament, the club, and spectators for making the final a special day for us.” The crowd at the final were also treated to a Tennis Express exhibition by Mark Tennant, from Inspire2Coach. Tennis Express is a programme and initiative to simplify the skills required for adults who have not played the sport before, designed to encourage them to enjoy playing the game.
Tournament Director Richard Joyner, meanwhile, hailed the Shrewsbury event as a big success. “It’s great when we come somewhere like The Shrewsbury Club,” he said. “The players and everyone involved in the tournament are made to feel very welcome and the work the club and Shropshire Tennis put in to help make the week a success is first class.
“It’s always a pleasure coming here, and we now look forward to the women’s $25K event which will be played here again in September.” Dave Courteen, the managing director for The Shrewsbury Club, added: “It’s been a great week.
We’ve loved the coverage we’ve got from the local media who have really seemed to engage with the tournament which is excellent. “The result of that has been seen in the fact that we’ve had record crowds here. We’ve loved staging the tournament again.”
Picture caption: Champion Isak Arvidsson receives his trophy from Jon Tandy, the Mayor of Shrewsbury. Picture by Richard Dawson Photography