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The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) announced today that British star Johanna Konta confirmed her intention to play all three grass court tournaments in the run up to Wimbledon, including The Aegon Classic Birmingham, from 17 – 25 June, as part of British Tennis’ enhanced grass court season for 2017. In light of her recent inspirational success the LTA has also named Johanna as an official ambassador for British Tennis.
Konta, the World No. 10 and Grand Slam semi-finalist, is a popular and well-known star at the Edgbaston Priory Club, having played at the venue in lead up to The Championships, Wimbledon for the past four years. Last year the 25-year-old, who headlines a strong Aegon GB Fed Cup team for next week’s tie in Estonia, went on to become the first British woman to break into the top 10 of the world rankings since 1984.
Speaking on the announcement Konta said: “I am excited to be playing these three tournaments, especially in front of the home crowds again. The grass court season is one of my favourites and this series of tournaments ahead of Wimbledon provides great preparation opportunities for me.
“Playing in front of a passionate crowd that is fully behind you is a special experience that not many players get: I know how lucky I am to be able to do that. The home fans really can make all the difference so I hope lots of people come out to cheer!
“These events have such an incredible history, you just need to look at the roll of honour to see that, and you can sense that when you step on court. With the recent commitment to a bigger and better series hopefully this great tradition will continue for many years to come.
“With so many great past champions, you always get the sense that Birmingham is a special place to play. The tournament is up there with the biggest in the world, attracting the best players and making it a great way for fans to get up close to the action.”
Konta has started 2017 in fine form as well, collecting the second WTA title of her career, triumphing in the Sydney International in January before going on to reach the quarter-final of the Australian Open, where she was beaten by Serena Williams who went on to collect an unparalleled 23rd Grand Slam singles title.
Patrick Hughesman, the Aegon Classic Birmingham Tournament Director, added his support for Konta’s return to the WTA Premier Tournament: “Johanna is the shining star of the British women’s game right now, being ranked in the world’s top 10 and winner of one WTA tournament title already this year, so we are delighted she has made this commitment to play.
“The Aegon Classic Birmingham showcases the world’s very best of tennis talent and being able to put Johanna down as the first on the list of what will be a stellar line up is great news for the tournament and for the fans.
“The tournament at The Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham has become a firm fixture in the calendar of must-see summer events, especially in the Midlands. Going from strength to strength, the event grows in prestige and stature and confirming Johanna will bring added excitement and interest for the fans.”
Tara McGregor-Woodhams, Head of Brand and Sponsorship Aegon UK, commented: “We are delighted to hear the Johanna is playing at the Aegon tournaments ahead of Wimbledon. She is an incredible athlete and an inspirational role model for us all. The Aegon series of tournaments in May and June are an exceptional collection of tennis events across the country that bring fans up close to their heroes, including the British stars. We wish Johanna and all the players the very best of luck and can’t wait for the great summer of British tennis to begin.”
For details on exclusive member offers, tickets and hospitality packages visit www.edgbastonpriory.com/tournaments/aegon-classic/
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