The grass court season steps up a notch in Birmingham this week, where the Nature Valley Classic has attracted the Top 3 players on the WTA Ranking.
Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty and Karolina Pliskova have all chosen to begin their competitive preparation for Wimbledon at the tournament, where defending champion Petra Kvitova is unable to defend her title due to an arm injury.
However, the legendary Venus Williams will take part in the competition for the first time and there is home interest primarily in the form of Johanna Konta, who reached the semifinals of the French Open earlier this month.
Prize money for the WTA Premier event is befitting of such a field, with the winner set to pocket a purse of $174,215 (£138,000), up from $163,085 (£130,000) a year ago. The runner-up, meanwhile, will take a share of $93,830 (£75,000).
For the two players that fall at the semifinal stage, they will each pocket $50,080 (£40,000), while the losing quarterfinalists will earn $26,885 (£21,500).
Those who are vanquished in the round of 16 will earn $14,385 (£11,400) and first-round losers will each be given cheques for $6,915 (£5,500).
|Singles round||Prize money ($)||Ranking points|
|Round of 16||14,385||55|
In the doubles tournament, the winning team will split $54,975 (£43,500), with the runners-up earning $29,343 (£23,500) between them. The semi-finalists will receive $16,040 (£12,500) per team, with those defeated in the quarters securing $8,170 (£6,500) and those who fall at the first hurdle taking $4,425 (£3,500).
|Doubles round||Prize money ($)||Ranking points|
In terms of ranking points, the winners of the respective competitions will each claim 470, with the finalist taking 305.
The semifinalists will each take 185 points and those who fall in the quarters will scoop 100.
In the singles, those players who reach the round of 16 will take 55 points, while first round losers in both the singles and doubles will be given a single point.
As such, Osaka, who was forced to retire from the second round in Birmingham in 2018, finds her WTA World No.1 ranking under threat from Barty, who was eliminated at the same stage by Julia Goerges. The Japanese currently has an advantage of 252 points over the Australian at the head of the ladder.