British No. 9 Maia Lumsden to face Valeria Savinykh in Shrewsbury tennis tournament final on Saturday afternoon
British No. 9 Maia Lumsden will face Russian Valeria Savinykh in the final of the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series women’s tennis tournament at The Shrewsbury Club this afternoon.
Lumsden’s wonderful week, which started in the qualifying rounds, continued with an impressive victory over Belgian Greet Minnen in yesterday’s opening semi-final as she secured a place in the second $25,000 singles final of her career.
Savinykh, once ranked as high as 99 in the world, then got the better of experienced Turkish player Pemra Ozgen, the eighth seed, in straight sets.
She is delighted to reach the final after losing at the semi-final stage in tournaments in both Oslo and Wirral in the last two weeks.
The two finalists are currently next to each other in the world rankings, with Lumsden 376 and Savinykh 377.
Lumsden, 20, from Glasgow, hit the heights once again to overcome Minnen - who had knocked out top seed Arantxa Rus in the quarter finals - 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
“I’m really excited,” said Lumsden. "It was a really tough match that went all the way, and I’m really glad to be in the final here when it’s such a good event.”
Lumsden, who has now won six matches in as many days on The Shrewsbury Club’s indoor courts, added: “I was really not expecting much when I was in the qualifiers. I was just trying to take one match at a time, so it’s crazy to be in the final now. But I’ve been playing well and each match I’ve got more confident and I’m feeling good now.
“Even the last few weeks, I’ve been playing well and I’ve had quite a few matches, so I was feeling my game before this week, and I think the courts are great for my game. They’ve really suited it, so I’ve been able to play some good tennis.”
It’s the second year in a row Lumsden has featured in a final at The Shrewsbury Club, having lost in the doubles final, partnering Katie Swan, 12 months ago.
Now she’s relishing the prospect of playing in front of a big crowd in the singles final: “I’m excited,” she added. "I always want to be part of days like that.”
Savinykh, who has yet to drop a set this week, beat Ozgen 6-1, 7-6 to book her place in the final.
“I am happy, but the tournament isn’t over, so I can’t relax,” she said. “It was a good match. I played well and there was a lot of competition in that match. My opponent was very strong.”
Savinykh, who reached the last 32 of the Australian Open in 2013, is enjoying her first visit to Shrewsbury.
“It’s my first time here,” she added. "It’s amazing. I would say it’s one of the best organised tournaments out of a $25,000 and in general, very friendly and I’m happy to be here.”
The final, which will be the first meeting between Lumsden and Savinykh, starts from 1.30pm on Saturday afternoon, with admission free for spectators to enjoy the action from courtside stands.
Having lost the first set 6-0, the Brits levelled it up by taking the second 6-3 before holding their nerve to win the tiebreak 10-4.
Pictured: Maia Lumsden, in action during her semi-final victory, will face Valeria Savinykh in the Budgen Motors GB Pro-Series tournament at The Shrewsbury Club on Saturday afternoon. Picture: Richard Dawson Photography.