Naomi Osaka Joins Field for Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham
(April 29, 2019) The LTA have announced that reigning World No.1 and Australian and US Open champion Naomi Osaka will join the a player field at this year’s Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham this coming June.
Having claimed the last two major titles back-to-back, the 21-year-old Osaka, from Japan, will be returning to the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham for the fourth consecutive year.
Osaka will compete alongside defending Nature Valley Classic champion Petra Kvitova, whom she defeated in the final in Australia earlier this year, and British No.1 Johanna Konta.
Kvitova is currently ranked No.2 after winning her second title of the year on Sunday at the WTA Premier Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. The Czech has been amongst Osaka’s closest rivals for the World No.1 ranking this season and their battle looks set to intensify on the grass.
If Osaka can hold on to the No.1 ranking then she could make history in Birmingham by becoming the first player to compete in Birmingham while ranked at the top of the WTA standings.
The Nature Valley Classic, which will take place from 15 – 23 June at the Edgbaston Priory Club, is the largest annual women’s event in the West Midlands. As a WTA Premier-level event it is the leading women’s-only professional tennis event held in UK outside of Wimbledon.
Osaka said via press release: ”I’m excited to come back to Birmingham. I enjoy the challenge of playing on grass and I’ve had some great matches and results on it, so this year should be fun. British crowds are great to play in front of so I’m looking forward to it.”
A full list of players entered for this year’s Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham will be released on week beginning 6 May.