The American veteran Venus Williams is one of the oldest players left on the WTA rankings list, playing six tournaments so far in 2019 and still standing in the top-60. The five-time Wimbledon singles champion and one of the most experienced players on grass is set to make a debut at the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham next week, joining Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty, the defending champion Petra Kvitova, Johanna Konta and others at the Edgbaston Priory Club.
Birmingham will be the fourth pre-Wimbledon grass event for Venus in a career, playing in Eastbourne in 1997, 1998 and 2011, making WTA level grass debut there 21 years ago! Venus had been the dominant figure at Wimbledon between 2000-2009, reaching eight finals and winning titles in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008 to stand as one of the most successful players in the temple of tennis.
After reaching the quarter-final in Auckland, Venus played in the third at the Australian Open and the quarter-final at Indian Wells, proving her quality once again and keeping herself near the top-50 after scoring two wins in Rome on the slowest surface.
“I’m excited to be playing in Birmingham for the first time. I always love playing on grass in front of British crowds and have heard wonderful things about the tournament,” Venus said. “We are delighted to welcome Venus to Birmingham.
Having so many big stars playing this year gives us a great opportunity to open tennis up to a new audience. Venus is a tennis legend in her lifetime and she is also a fantastic role model, whose impact reaches well beyond the sport,” Nature Valley Tournament Director Patrick Hughesman said.