A smashing time for tennis

Posted 09:00, 18 Jun 2018
By: Anita Morris

The grass court tennis season is in full swing and nowhere more so than at Ilkley Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, the next stop on the Fuzion 100 Trophy tour, where players from the world’s top 100 will compete for a share of the $250,000 prize fund between 16-24 June.

The Fuzion 100 Ilkley Trophy (formerly the Aegon Ilkley Trophy) is a highly prestigious event on the professional tennis calendar for both men and women, and is part of the ITF Pro Circuit & ATP Challenger Tour.

It is the highest-ranking tennis tournament ever to be held in Yorkshire and the highest value circuit event at this level in the world as the prize money now on offer has more than doubled since 2016 to $250,000: $150,000 for men, $100,000 for women.

The competition features both world class and up-and-coming British and international players who are looking to compete on the main ATP and WTA Tours, many are ranked within the world top 100.

Since its inception in 2015, the elite tennis championship has attracted to Ilkley’s grass courts some of the sport’s rising, and returning, stars. Former British number one Laura Robson, 18 time Grand Slam doubles champion Leander Paes and the Ilkley 2017 champion Magdalena Rybarikova, who a fortnight later reached the semi-finals at Wimbledon, all played in Ilkley last year. More than 15,000 people have attended the tournament since2015; hundreds of local volunteers have been involved in delivering the event, and more than 9,000 young people have been involved in outreach programmes where they are encouraged to try their hand at the sport.