BRITISH No1 Andy Murray may have been swept aside by rampaging Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon – but two more Murrays are guaranteed top billing on Huddersfield tennis fans’ doorsteps.
Huddersfield Lawn Tennis and Squash Club launch into the 87th Sellers International Huddersfield Open tomorrow and heading the seedings are brother and sister Peter and Sarah Murray, of Altrincham, Cheshire.
Peter will be a familiar face to fans of the popular Edgerton-based tournament, having won the Men’s Singles, Under 18s and doubles (with older brother Neil) in 2004.
But for Sarah, 20, however, it will be her first appearance in a senior category in Huddersfield after winning a junior class several years ago.
And she comes with a superb 1.2 rating and is ranked ninth in Cheshire with a national ranking of 240.
She will definitely be the one to beat and looking to cause an upset will be local lass Nicole Peterson (3.2 rating) who is seeded second in the tournament.
The Bradley-based teenager goes from strength to strength and beat last year’s Ladies’ Singles champion Maria Kouvatsos to win the Girls’ Under 18 final and she also also claimed the Under 16 crown.
Third seed is Caroline Mount (4.1) – a Sellers regular – who lost 6-0 6-1 to Kouvatsos in last year’s final, while a new name, Paula Peters (4.1) is fourth seed, in the ladies’ field comprising 14 entrants.
Hoping to keep up the pressure on men’s top seed Murray (3.1) will be Bobby Brooke, of Bradley, (3.1) who coaches tennis at Goole and won the Men’s title in 2006, followed by third seed Daniel Pethig (3.2), of Mid-Glamorgan, Wales, who was beaten at last year’s Men’s semi-final stage by Mike Tolman, and is seeded No1 in the Under 18s this year.
And back to defend his crown is popular Huddersfield homester Tolman, of Flockton, (3.2) who beat Chris Harrison 7-5 7-6 in last year’s showpiece final to add to the title he won in 2003.
Once again, there are no Under 21 categories this year, but the event gains the prestigious Lawn Tennis Association’s Grand Prix Status which means the best junior players across the country are encouraged to target Huddersfield in a bid to gain circuit points and qualify for finals held in La Manga, Spain, at the end of the season.