Kournikova confirms place at Birmingham

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The Independent Online

Anna Kournikova has announced her intention to play the DFS Classic grass-court tournament in Birmingham for the first time in her build-up to Wimbledon.

Kournikova, who celebrates her 22nd birthday two days before the start of the Birmingham tournament on 9 June, is sure to be one of the main attractions in an event that contains three top-20 players. Her Russian compatriot, Elena Dementieva, will be the No 1 seed.

Kournikova, who is yet to win a singles title and has never matched her 1997 semi-final place at Wimbledon in any other grand-slam tournament, will also play on Eastbourne's grass a week later.

Last week Kournikova suffered a first-round defeat to Bruna Colosio - ranked 384th in the world - in the USTA Pro Championships in Charlottesville. Kournikova, bothered by a left-thigh injury, was the only player in the top 100 to enter the event as she attempted to regain her confidence.