Three of Britain’s top-ranked female tennis players have been awarded wildcards into the main draw of the WTA Tour DFS Classic in Birmingham which takes place from June 9-17.
British No.1, Anne Keothavong from Middlesex, has reached the semi-finals of three ITF women’s circuit events in 2007, In Tipton (GBR) and St. Paul (USA) in February and in Antayla (Tur) in May.
Keothavong, ranked No.173 in the world, has won 12 professional singles titles during her career, represented Great Britain in Fed Cup since 2004 and achieved a career-high ranking of No.134 in October 2006.
Joining Keothavong in the main draw is Naomi Cavaday, the 18-year-old from Kent who caused a sensation in the qualifying rounds of last year’s DFS Classic, narrowly missing out on a main draw berth.
Cavaday has one ITF Women’s Circuit event to her name in 2007 – the $25,000 event in Orange, USA in March. She went on to reach the semi-finals in Palm Beach, Florida in May and is currently ranked No. 239 in the world.
Completing the hat trick of British wildcards is British No.11 Elena Baltacha from Middlesex. On the comeback trail after back surgery in June 2006, the former British No.1 has battled with illness and injury throughout her career but has begun a determined climb back up the rankings in 2007.
Currently ranked world No.430 in the world, she enjoyed a recall to the British Fed Cup squad in April and won her first round match at the Surbiton Trophy this week as a wildcard.
Four wildcards into the qualifying event at the DFS Classic have also been announced with Natasha Khan (Sussex), Anna Fitzpatrick (Yorkshire) Anna Smith (Surrey) and Amanda Elliott (Hertfordshire) the recipients.
Qualifying takes place on Saturday June 10 and Sunday June 11, with main draw action starting on Monday June 12 at Edgbaston Priory Club.