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Rothesay Classic Birmingham

Edgbaston Priory Club, Birmingham 2025 dates TBC

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Caroline Wozniacki addresses the crowd at Indian Wells
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Four things to look out for at the 2024 Rothesay Classic Birmingham

• 4 MINUTE READ

The WTA Tour heads for Birmingham next with another blockbuster week of grass court tennis action. Here's a few things to keep your eye out for at this year's Rothesay Classic Birmingham.

Wozniacki makes her grass court return

It’s been five years since Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki last played on grass at Wimbledon before announcing that she would be retiring in January 2020 to start her family life away from tennis.

Fast forward to the present day and Wozniacki has made a triumphant return to the WTA Tour and has her eyes set on the grass court season, Wimbledon and the Olympic Games in Paris.

The first stop on that journey for the former world No.1 and Australian Open champion will be the Rothesay Classic Birmingham – a tournament that she has played just once throughout her career.

The 33-year-old Dane does however have a strong pedigree on the grass. She is a two-time champion at the Eastbourne International (2009 & 2018), a former runner-up (2017) and a three-time semi-finalist (2013, 2014 & 2015). Wozniacki is also a former Wimbledon girls singles champion and has made the fourth round of the main draw six times.

Wozniacki comes in as a wild card this week – with her best results since her return coming at the US Open (fourth round) and Indian Wells (quarter-finals) – and will be a player that most will want to avoid in the early rounds.

Six Brits set for strong doubles draw

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Keep an eye out for the Brits competing in the doubles draw at the Rothesay Classic Birmingham this week – as Heather Watson, Harriet Dart, Olivia Nicholls, Maia Lumsden, Sarah Beth Grey and Tara Moore.

British doubles No.1 Watson has been playing more doubles events this year in a bid to compete at the Olympics and has seen her ranking inside the top 50. She will play with Belgium’s Greet Minnen after the duo made the final of the Brisbane International earlier this year.

ATX Open and Charleston Challenger champion Nicholls will play with Slovakia’s Tereza Mihalikova, while Brits Dart and Lumsden will team up in Birmingham.

Keep an eye out for Beth Grey and Moore as the British duo have hit strong form of late, having reached the final of the Lexus Surbiton Trophy on the grass just a couple of weeks ago.

Can Leylah Fernandez make her mark on the grass?

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One of the young hopefuls to keep an eye out on is Canada’s Leylah Fernandez, who will make the Rothesay Classic her first destination of the 2024 grass court season.

The 2021 US Open runner-up already has three tour-level titles to her name and is well overdue a standout run out the grass.

This will be her second appearance in Birmingham, having made the second round in 2021 before losing out to eventual champion Ons Jabeur in a third set tie-break.

With mixed results on the grass so far in her career - could 2024 see the young Canadian make her breakthrough on the surface ahead of Wimbledon?

Ostapenko looks to make it back-to-back Birmingham crowns

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Reigning Rothesay Classic champion Jelena Ostapenko will be looking to make it successive titles in Birmingham, as she prepares to retain her trophy.

The British grass court swing has previously been a happy hunting ground for the Latvian who has last year added her Birmingham crown to the silverware she picked up at the Rothesay International Eastbourne back in 2021.

During both of her title runs, she took down some of the world’s best WTA stars, including Venus Williams, Ons Jabeur, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina and Barbora Krejcikova – who could one to de-throne the world No.13 next week after coming close to the title last year.

Czech star Krejcikova – a previous French Open winner – arrives in Birmingham as the second seed and will be seeking revenge over Ostapenko after being narrowly beaten in the 2023 final.

However, there will also be fierce competition in the form of British No.1 Katie Boulter, former Wimbledon quarter-finalist Ajla Tomljanovic and former world No.1 Karolina Pliskova who could all pose threat to Ostapenko’s reign in Birmingham.

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