BIRMINGHAM, England - Ashleigh Barty admits this week's Nature Valley Classic is a tournament the WTA field always look forward to, so long as the weather improves.
The Australian arrives in the UK for the grass court season having won her debut Grand Slam at the French Open a week ago. She now takes part in the Birmingham event as preparation for Wimbledon, where the 23-year-old has never passed the third round.
"I love the courts here," Barty said. "Hopefully it stays dry so we get some time on the grass! It's been some pretty average weather over the last week. Hopefully the sun comes out and we can play some grass court tennis.
"[It's an] incredible field here, it always is. A lot of the girls love coming to Birmingham, it's a beautiful place to play tennis - the club here is amazing, it's got everything we need. The more grass court matches you can get before Wimbledon, the better."
Barty also reflected on the attention she has received and the spotlight on her since her Roland Garros triumph.
"The amount of love and support that I have received, from not only the Australian public but all around the globe, has been incredible," she added. "It's really nice to see that other athletes, who I didn't know were tennis fans, were watching matches and invested in watching women's tennis.
"It's just about enjoying it, it really is. It's really been an emotional two weeks. [This week] is a fresh start, it's a clean slate. I am excited to start here, in Birmingham. This is a time of the year that I love playing tennis, one of the best times."