GB Pro-Series: British stars head to new Bolton event
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A new ITF World Tennis Tournament will be staged at the USN Bolton Arena next week, run by the LTA. The indoor tournament, taking place 1-7 April, will feature both men's and women's events, with a host of British stars set to compete including Naomi Broady, Laura Robson and Liam Broady.
Back the Brits
Entry for the event is free throughout the week, so fans can cheer on the Brits courtside. Live scoring will be available and the tournament will be live streamed on the ITF website. Qualifying will take place on Monday 1 April, with the main draw starting on Tuesday. Doubles finals will be played on Saturday, with the singles on the Sunday. Play starts from 09:00 on Monday, 10:00 on Tuesday to Saturday and 10:30 on Sunday.
Both the men’s and the women’s events have a total prize money pot of $25,000, and are a part of the new ITF World Tennis Tour. The Bolton indoor event is part of an expanded international calendar of tournaments being staged by the LTA in Britain this year, providing more opportunites for British players to compete at home, whilst also opening up tennis to fans across the nation.
British Davis Cup player Liam Broady is among the favourites to take the men’s title and goes into the tournament as the highest ranked player at No.296 in the world.
The entry list for the women’s event is exceptionally strong, with four current top 200 players set to compete. Former British No.1 Laura Robson will be looking for a solid run as she continues on her road to recovery from injury, whilst Stockport's Naomi Broady and Cheshire's Samantha Murray will be ready to bring their best form to the table, boosted by support from local fans.
The USN Bolton Arena has successfully staged an annual international professional wheelchair tennis event in recent years, and also regularly hosts junior competitions – 2017 Wimbledon Boys' Singles finalist Jack Draper competed there in 2015 at a 14&U Tennis Europe event. However, next week will be the first time the venue’s world-class facilities have staged a professional men’s or women’s tournament since 2004, when a 17-year-old Andy Murray competed and future Grand Slam finalist Marcos Baghdatis won the title.
Who said what?
Liam Broady, GB Davis Cup player and men's top seed
“I’m really excited to be playing the new LTA tournament in Bolton. I’m thrilled to be playing a tournament on my doorstep and it would be great to have some local friends and fans come down and support myself and the other Brits over the course of the week.
"We’re keen to open up our sport to new fans throughout the year and this new tournament provides an opportunity to do just that.”
Richard Joyner, LTA Tournament Director
“We are delighted to be bringing international tennis to Bolton as part of our work to open up tennis to more people. While Wimbledon naturally always gets a lot of attention, tennis is played all year round and staging a new tournament like Bolton, is a great way of showcasing that.
"With free entry throughout the week, we’d encourage any local sports fans to come and take the opportunity to back the Brits and witness some great tennis on their doorstep. We have a really strong line-up in both the women’s and the men’s fields and it’s a great opportunity to see some future stars in the making!”