The 2017 Aegon Classic is a Premier event on the WTA Tour, and a small-p premier event in terms of the quality of the field and the level of intrigue it could generate. Women’s tennis fans will be eager to see how the field reacts in this warm-up for Wimbledon. There will be some big names showing up, including Johanna Konta, who is looking to get right in the grass part of the calendar. We’ll also see French Open finalist, Simona Halep, as well as the current star of the tour (and French Open winner), Jelena Ostapenko. We’ll get a better sense of whether Roland Garros was a fluke or whether she’s truly on the rise.
The competition in the 32-player main draw will begin on Monday, June 19.
Event: Aegon Classic
Category: WTA Premier Level
Date: June 19-25, 2017
Location: Edgbaston Priory Club – Birmingham, England
With a prize money allotment of roughly $846,000, this tournament offers a prime chance for the best of the WTA to test their games against each other before Wimbledon. It’s the smaller showcase before the bigger showcase, which makes this an event worth paying attention to for casual as well as serious fans.
Champion – 470 points
Runner-up – 305
Semifinal – 185
Quarterfinal – 100
Round-of-16 – 55 points
Former Champions and Results (3 Years)
Year Champion Runner-up Score
2016: Madison Keys def. Barbara Strycova 6-3, 6-4
2015: Angelique Kerber def. Karolina Pliskova 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 7-6(4)
2014: Ana Ivanovic def. Barabara Strycova 6-3, 6-2
Angelique Kerber became the first women’s top seed in history to lose in the opening round of the French Open when she fell to two-time Grand Slam semifinalist Ekaterina Makarova, 6-2, 6-2. Kerber is going through a terrible time – she did not come into the French Open with the confidence of the World No. 1. The German has won one match against top-25 players this season compared to seven losses. Grass appears to be a little friendlier to Kerber, but the way things are going, it’s not wise to trust her to come good on any surface.
Simona Halep wasn’t far from her maiden Grand Slam triumph at the French Open, but she ran out of luck midway through the second set and Jelena Ostapenko started to play bold tennis at the same time. The past cannot be changed but what Halep can always do is work harder and improve in the future. Of course, Halep missed the huge opportunity and she feels the pain. We’ll know in Birmingham if the wound is healed or if it has deepened.
Elina Svitolina was serving for the match at 5-1 in the second set but choked and lost 12 of the 13 remaining games against Halep. Svitolina’s spectacular collapse in her French Open quarterfinal against Halep easily qualifies as a dark moment. Svitolina next plays in a grass court tournament in Birmingham. It’ll be interesting to see if she has recovered from that heartbreaking loss to Halep.
Johanna Konta, the British number one, won 6-4, 6-1 in only an hour and 14 minutes to reach the quarterfinals in her first grass-court tournament of the year. In the ongoing tournament in Nottingham, Konta, who is ranked eighth in the world, will play 21-year-old Australian Ashleigh Barty. Her Wimbledon preparations are going great and in the coming week, she will be a player to watch.
The Aegon Classic in Birmingham lost its mega star when Maria Sharapova announced that her thigh injury will keep her out of the entire grass season. However, the great news for the fans is that she has been replaced by Jelena Ostapenko, the current French Open champion. Ostapenko, with her venomous groundstrokes, can be lethal on grass. If she can do what she is doing and keeps the same focus, she can be very dangerous. She was blasting her forehand at a 76-MPH average during her shocking title run in Paris.
Ostapenko won Wimbledon juniors and she loves to play on grass. It’s her favorite surface. The Latvian will believe that she can do some serious damage in the faster conditions.
Edgbaston Priory Club
The founded in 1964 from the merger of two older tennis clubs in England. The club hosted Davis Cup competitions in the past. The facility has a stadium court with 2,500 people and is an established, intimate stop on the WTA Tour.
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