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Katie Boulter and Harriet Dart received wildcards for Viking Classic in Birmingham;  Heather Watson enters the main draw |  Tennis News

Katie Boulter, Harriet Dart and Heather Watson Join Star Squad at WTA Viking Classic in Birmingham; Boulter also opened up about his recovery from a serious injury, which was inspired by late-night thoughts of a day playing at Wimbledon again

Last updated: 06/11/21 12:53 PM

Katie Boulter, who joined the Birmingham squad, suffered a serious back injury in April 2019 which put the brakes on her career

Britons Katie Boulter, Harriet Dart and Heather Watson have joined the all-star lineup for this year’s Viking Classic in Birmingham, which begins Monday at the Edgbaston Priory Club.

British No. 1 Johanna Konta, seed and world No. 15 Elise Mertens and 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko are already participating in this event which marks her return to the sports calendar.

Watson entered the main draw with her WTA world ranking of 71, while Dart and Boulter received wildcards alongside 2011 US Open champion Sama Stosur of Australia.

Harriet Dart said: “I think we’ve all dreamed of playing in front of a British crowd again so I’m really grateful to have the chance to compete in front of them again in Birmingham and challenge myself against some of the best players in the world, can’t wait to go.

Boulter is currently on a good streak at the WTA Viking Open in Nottingham after recovering from a serious injury.

She spent most of the nine months off the main tour and hopes of a return were further stymied by the coronavirus pandemic.

Other issues hampered her in 2021, but she is now back on the pitch and ready to enter the UK grass season, with Wimbledon in just over a fortnight.

There were dark days during her recovery, but the prospect of playing at home in the Grand Slam kept her going.

“It’s something I’ve been thinking about at night for a few years since my injury,” said Boulter, 24.

“I never wanted to miss a season on grass and having the chance to play at Wimbledon means so much. These are my home tournaments and you really can’t compare them to anything else. I’m super excited for what’s to come. .

“Honestly, I’ve had some really, really tough times, but these are the times that define you.

“You come back stronger or not at all and I feel like I’m where I am now because I went through those times. I had a great team around me, I’m super lucky to have them. . “

Boulter believes she is now in a better position to go even further as she tries to fix her ranking, which has fallen to 262.

“At the time, that was my prime and I felt I could really go on from there,” she said. “But I think things happen for a reason, I’m a lot stronger now and I really feel like I can get a lot higher up in the rankings than when I was 80.

“But now tennis needs to talk. I wouldn’t be in tennis if I didn’t have the conviction that I could get to number one, but I know how hard it’s going to be, I’m I’m just going to work hard to stay in the process and see how far I can. “

Katie Boulter and Harriet Dart received wildcards for Viking Classic in Birmingham;  Heather Watson enters the main draw |  Tennis News

Jordanne Whiley will make Birmingham tournament history by taking part in Britain’s first women’s wheelchair tennis event

Britons Fran Jones, Naiktha Bains, Eden Silva and Tara Moore have received wildcards for the qualifying rounds in Birmingham, which start on Saturday.

History will also be written at the event when it also hosts Britain’s first professional women’s wheelchair tennis event outside of Wimbledon.

Five of the top 10 female wheelchair players in the world are among those vying for the title, including Birmingham’s Jordanne Whiley, who is ranked No.4 in the world.

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