Ashleigh Barty and Katie Boulter set to fight for grass title in Nottingham

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Ashleigh Barty and Katie Boulter set to fight for grass title in Nottingham

The organizers of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham have announced Ashleigh Barty and Katie Boulter who will join Johanna Konta in the draw between June 10-16. The defending Nottingham champion Ashleigh Barty has been one of the best players on the Tour in 2019, winning 18 out of 21 matches and competing on a high level in the opening four months to enter the top-10.

After losing to Petra Kvitova in the final of Sydney and quarter-final at the Australian Open, Ashleigh scored two Fed Cup singles wins over the USA and conquered Miami crown for the career-best result and the place in the elite ten for the first time.

Leading her country in the Fed Cup semi-final against Belarus, Barty delivered all three points to push Australia into the first final since 1993, building confidence before big tournaments on clay in Madrid and Rome. Heading to Nottingham as the top seed 12 months ago, Barty toppled Stefanie Voegele, Yingying Duan, Katie Boulter, Naomi Osaka and Johanna Konta to lift the second WTA title.

The 22-year-old Katie Boulter is the British no. 2, struggling to find the form in 2019 but hoping for a better result in front of the home crowd where he played in the last eight last June. Barty said: “I can't wait to return to Nottingham this year to defend my title.

I love playing on the UK grass courts and Nottingham is a fantastic way for me to start my Wimbledon preparation. I have some great memories from this tournament over the past three years and 2018 was very special to come away with the win.

I hope I can be there again on women's finals day”. Boulter said: “Playing in the East Midlands, so close to home, is very special for me and I am excited to be returning to Nottingham to play on the excellent grass courts.

Playing for my country in Fed Cup this year has given me some of the best moments of my career so far. Playing in, and winning, big matches are what I want to do week in, week out and I can’t wait to get back out on the court in front of a home crowd. Nottingham is one of the highlights of the year for me and I am looking forward to it”.