The race for No. 1 heats up in historic Birmingham lineup – Osaka, Barty and Pliskova top historic Birmingham field with No. 1 ranking in play for the first time in history of the tournament. WTA No.s 1,2 and 3 will play the Nature valley classic event which begins on monday after Karolina Pliskova (No. 3) accepted a wildcard into the first premier tournament of the grass season. Coming off her inspired run to her maiden major title at Roland Garros, she now sits within striking distance of overtaking Osaka for the No. 1 spot this week in Birmingham. Bidding to become the second Australian WTA No. 1 and first since 1976.
Roland Garros champion Ash Barty could overtake Osaka if she reaches the final in Birmingham but Osaka has to also loose her first match for this to happen.
Top seed Naomi Osaka will open her tounament against world No. 33 Maria Sakkari. The top seeds in Osaka’s top half are world No. 7 Elina Svitolina, (Roland Garros semi finalist), world No 18 Johanna Konta and world No. 19 Julia Georges.
Barty, a finalist at Birmingham in 2017 opens her grass campaign against world No. 22 Donna Vekic. Vecki should not be underestimated as she is currently enjoying the best season of her career and currently in the finals of Nottingham. Top seeds in Barty’s bottom half are world No 3 Pliskoca, world No 10. Aryna Sabalenka and world No. 15 Wang Qiang. Barty could face Venus Williams in the third round, after the five-time Wimbledon champion accepted a wildcard into this year’s event.
WTA Birmingham 2019 Draw