When the ‘Battle of the Brits’ was confirmed earlier this week, it made no provision for the women. This has now been rectified with the Progress Tour Women’s Championships to be played at the National Training Centre, Roehampton, the LTA’s headquarters, starting on July 13 and featuring 16 singles and eight doubles teams.
It's great that the Progress Tour Women's Championships is giving the British women a chance to play matches and restart our careers Harriet Dart
Like the men’s, it will be behind locked doors (ie no spectators) and will no doubt follow the same social distancing rules with just one umpire and Hawk-Eye overseeing the lines.
Unfortunately it seems that the two top British players Johanna Konta and Heather Watson, do not want to take part leaving Harriet Dart the national No.3, as top seed in the £30,000 event set up to give players match practice before the tours restart hopefully in September.
“I’m so excited to compete again,” Dart said following the announcement. “It’s great that the Progress Tour Women’s Championships is giving the British women a chance to play matches and restart our careers in a way which is going to be safe for us and everyone involved.”
Naomi Broady, Samantha Murray and 17-year-old Emma Raducanu are also expected to play in the event masterminded by Barry Fulcher, a former touring pro turned tournament organiser, which is backed by the LTA.