The strength of the field for next month's DFS Classic continues to grow with the announcement that 2007 Wimbledon finalist Marion Bartoli has confirmed she will begin her grass court campaign at the Edgbaston Priory Club.
Bartoli, currently ranked No 11 in the world, reached the semi finals in Birmingham last June before going on to make her Grand Slam breakthrough at the All England Club afew weeks later.
Although she lost to Maria Sharapova in the last four at the Priory she went one better at SW19 and beat Jelena Jankovic and Justine Henin to earn a showdown with eventual champion Venus Williams.
The 23-year-old becomes the second major name, following last summer's winner Jankovic, to commit to the tournament which could be in its penultimate year in the second city. Bartoli will be making her sixth straight appearance at the DFS Classic.
Marjorie Howie, DFS Classic Tournament Director, welcomed the news: "Marion is a world class player who has a proven track record on grass. Having a player of her stature confirmed to play in Edgbaston is a great boost."
In April, the LTA announced that from 2010 the WTA event currently played at the Edgbaston Priory Club will become open to a bidding process with all venues that meet the criteria welcome to bid.
To help them with that process tournament organisers could do with superstar Maria Sharapova confirming her participation.
The Russian has played in each of the last five DFS Classics although she has not yet confirmed her entry this year.
Tickets are currently on sale for the DFS Classic and information is available from the box office on 0871 945 3000. The qualifying for the DFS Classic begins on Saturday, June 7 with main draw matches taking place between June 9-15.
The LTA revealed earlier this week that British Eurosport will be broadcasting live from the DFS Classic as well as Nottingham and Eastbourne.
The satellite company will be showing a combination of live and pre-recorded tennis from the quarter-finals stage onwards at each event.