International men’s tennis returns to Barnstaple next month with one of the strongest line-ups to visit North Devon.

The GB Pro Series will run at Tarka Tennis Centre from Monday, February 11 to Saturday, February 16.

The event will be the first men’s event to take place in Britain under the new ITF World Tennis Tour, and has a prize money pot of $25,000 dollars – the most ever played for at Tarka Tennis Centre.

With the increased prize pot comes a strong pedigree of players travelling from overseas to compete.

Belgian Loris De Loore heads up the field, with the 25-year-old having broken into the world top 200 having won seven career pro singles titles.

The Netherlands’ Igor Sijsling, who eliminated Milos Raonic from Wimbledon when Andy Murray won the title in 2013, is another strong contender for the title.

Leading the British challenge will be 17-year-old Jack Draper, who reached the Wimbledon boy’s singles final in 2018.

There’s a Devon interest too, with Exmouth’s Jack Findel-Hawkins one of those taking to the court.

Those also looking to play include 2018 singles champion Mark Whitehouse, 2018 singles finalist and doubles winner Aidan McHugh, and 2016 singles champion Neil Pauffley.

Tournament director Richard Joyner said: “We have a really strong line-up for this year’s event reflected by the increase in prize money.

“It will provide a real opportunity for local tennis fans to get to see some great tennis close at hand, complemented with a stand going up ready for Wednesday’s matches.

“All of the men’s current top 10 will have sharpened their skills at this level, and Barnstaple is a popular stop on the tour.

“It is always such a pleasure coming to Tarka Tennis Centre, the atmosphere is very good, everyone is very pro-active in welcoming the players, which together with the great facilities make it a exciting week of tennis.”

The first day of play is scheduled for qualifying, with the main draw starting on Tuesday, February 12. The finals are scheduled for the final day of competition, starting at 1pm.

Entry for qualifying is free of charge. For more information on the main draw, call Tarka Tennis Centre on 01271 377701.