Former Wimbledon winner, Maria Sharapova has confirmed that she will make a return to Birmingham this year, ahead of the anticipated Nature Valley Classic in June. The 31-year-old, who boasts five-time Grand Slam titles, will join reigning Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza, defending Classic champion Petra Kvitova, British No.1 Johanna Konta, starlet Naomi Osaka along with a host of other big names.
The Nature Valley Classic, formerly the Birmingham Classic, boasts a long and illustrious history, dating back as far as 1982 when Billie Jean King won the inaugural tournament.
This year’s star-studded cast has certainly caught with fans already rushing to book their place at the WTA Premier Event, which is scheduled to be held from 18th – 24th June at Edgbaston Priory Club.
Sharapova, who celebrates her 31st birthday today, is one of only five female players to win all four Grand Slam titles (the others are Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Steffi Graf and Serana Williams), including her remarkable victory at Wimbledon in 2004 at the age of 17, just weeks after she lifted the first of her two Nature Valley Classic trophies. The Russian successfully defended her Birmingham title the following year and has also finished runner-up at the Edgbaston Priory Club in both 2007 and 2010.
“I’m excited to return to play the Nature Valley Classic,” said the Russian. “I feel like the fans in Birmingham and I go back a long way and I’ve got a lot of good memories there. It’s going to feel really good to be back out there playing again.”
Nature Valley Classic Tournament Director, Patrick Hughesman, has expressed his delight at adding such an experienced pro to this year’s competition: “Maria is one of the biggest stars of her generation and a former champion in Birmingham, so it will be great to see her back on the grass courts of the Edgbaston Priory Club.
“It’s shaping up to be one of the most memorable weeks in the tournament’s history and it’s no wonder – fans and players alike – want to be part of it.”
To enjoy the Nature Valley Classic in VIP style this year with our official hospitality packages, please click here.
Our Skyview Suite provides a wonderful base for the day as guests look forward to a dazzling day of tennis. Situated overlooking the four show courts, this corporate facility gives guests unparalleled views of the action coupled with stylish surroundings and excellent cuisine to match.
If you are also interested in enjoying hospitality at our other summer tennis tournaments, then please find our links below:
Nottingham Open (Monday 11th – Sunday 17th June 2018)
Eastbourne International (Monday 25th – Saturday 30th June 2018)
Wimbledon Championships (Monday 2nd July – Sunday 15th July 2018)