Emma Raducanu set to make her debut at the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham
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British No.1 Emma Raducanu is set to make her debut at the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham, with the tournament that gets underway on June 11 set to mark the start of the US Open champion’s preparations for Wimbledon.
The 19-year-old will be playing her first competitive tournament in front of a British crowd since her run to the last-16 of Wimbledon last summer and her victory in the US Open last September.
Raducanu has only played one match on the WTA Tour in front of a home crowd at last year’s Nottingham Open and the presence of the LTA Youth ambassador on the entry list at WTA 250 event for an event staged at the Edgbaston Priory Club is certain to be a draw for British tennis fans.
Tickets are still available for the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham and all of The LTA’s grass court summer events here:
“I can’t wait to play in Britain again and I’m delighted to be competing at the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham in the 40th year of this terrific showcase for women’s tennis," said Raducanu.
"It will be great to get back on to the grass at home, where the backing of the British fans was so fantastic.”
While tennis has always been a pioneer for women’s sport and women in sport, greater visibility is crucial for women’s tennis in building the perception of the sport as being something for women, and in turn leading to greater participation.
With Raducanu being an LTA Youth Ambassador it is hoped her participation in the event will help inspire the next generation to pick up a racket, with the LTA staging a series of participation activity through the week.
“As the current US Open champion, world No.11 and British No.1, having Emma coming to the Rothesay Classic is fantastic news," said Rothesay Classic Tournament Director Patrick Hughesman.
"She is one of the most exciting young players in the women’s game right now and she is obviously going to create quite a stir for the home crowd as she steps out onto the pristine grass of our Ann Jones Centre Court.
"This is a great opportunity for anyone who loves watching world-class sport up close to experience the thrill of these top athletes like Emma competing in Birmingham.”
The annual Rothesay Classic in Birmingham is the biggest female only tennis event in Britain and this is a special year for the tournament as it will be toasting its 40th anniversary.
The first winner of the tournament was the great Billie Jean King in 1982, with her subsequent victory the following year giving her a 129th and final singles title in her illustrious career.
Subsequent winners in Birmingham have included former Wimbledon champions Martina Navratilova, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova and Ashleigh Barty, while last year’s tournament was won by Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur.