Johanna Konta, Elise Mertens and Coco Gauff confirmed for Birmingham Classic
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The LTA has announced a strong player line-up for the its Birmingham Classic tennis event, which will be played on the grass courts of the Edgbaston Priory Club from 12 – 20 June. British Number One Johanna Konta will lead the home challenge but will face strong competition from top seeded World Number 15 Elise Mertens and rising teenage sensation Coco Gauff.
“Playing at home has always been a great experience for me but being back on grass in Birmingham is going to feel extra special this time, said Konta, currently ranked 20 in the world. “We all know what an incredibly tough time it’s been and I have really missed the British tennis fans and the buzz that comes with this time of year. I just can’t wait to get back out there again."
The all-star line-up also features Tunisian fan favourite Ons Jabeur, ranked 25; former Birmingham Classic runner-up Donna Vekic and Grand Slam singles champions Jelena Ostapenko and Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The Birmingham Classic is a WTA 250 tournament as is the biggest annual women’s-only sports event in the Midlands. It has been held at Edgbaston since 1983 and boasts Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King, Maria Sharapova and Petra Kvitova among its former champions. It sits alongside the LTA’s other major grass court events, the Nottingham Open, the Cinch Championships at Queen’s Club and the Eastbourne International, which form the lead-up to the Championships, Wimbledon.
LTA Tournament Director Patrick Hughesman said: “We’re thrilled to be welcoming Jo and our amazing line-up of international players back to Birmingham. We’ve all missed seeing live tennis on our wonderful grasscourts and it’s going to be very special to see these inspiring athletes back out there competing again for one of the most sought-after titles on the women’s tour.”
Like so many elite sports events, including Wimbledon, all of last year’s LTA summer grass court events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. This year’s Birmingham Classic will abide by the strict protocols of the WTA Tour as well as national restrictions in place for elite sports events in the UK and has been organised in close cooperation with UK Government and public health bodies. The LTA has made free tickets available to key workers for each day of the tournament. These will be provided to contacts at key worker organisations local to the Birmingham Classic.
More players will be added to this year’s Birmingham Classic line-up including four potential wildcards nearer to the start of the event.
|Elena Vesnina||RUS||52 SR|