Birmingham grass-court tournament no longer of Premier status

Barty was champion in 2019 and claimed the world number one spot (PA Images)
12:57pm, Fri 20 Sep 2019
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The biggest women-only grass-court tennis event in the UK is being downgraded by the WTA.

The Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham, held two weeks before Wimbledon, is having its Premier status revoked and will now return to being categorised as an international event.

Running against the men's event at Queen's Club, the tournament still manages to attract some of the top players in the women's game, including World number one Ashleigh Barty who claimed the 2019 title.

Other notable names in this year's tournament included Venus Williams and Karolina Pliskova.

A status change means less ranking points awarded and lower prize money as the 38-year-old tournament prize fund drops to a quarter of it's 2019 value of £800,000.

According to LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd, the event will still "provide opportunities for tennis fans to get closer to the sport".