Express & Star

Major changes to Birmingham Classic tennis from 2025

The Birmingham Classic tennis tournament will feature events for both men and women next year – but is being downgraded to its lowest level since its inception in 1982.

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Jelena Ostapenko with the Maud Watson Trophy after winning the Rothesay Classic Birmingham at Edgbaston Priory Club last year

Greats of the women's game have won the Maud Watson Trophy at Edgbaston Priory Club – including Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King.

As recently as 2019, it was the second highest level of tournament on the WTA Tour outside of the Grand Slams.

However, next year it will be a Challenger – the fourth level outside the Grand Slams – and be moved to clash with the second week of the French Open, ruling out any player who has a deep run at Roland-Garros.