British No 1 Kyle Edmund will among ahost of stars competing at next month’s Nature Valley International in Eastbourne.
Edmund, who reached the semi-final of the Australian Open earlier this year, will also be joined by fellow Brits Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.
Five of the world’s top 10 women and some of the brightest young stars on the ATP Tour will contest the event.
The combined WTA Premier and ATP 250 tournament will take place 22 – 30 June at Devonshire Park.
World No.1 Simona Halep and No.2 Caroline Wozniacki will be joined by defending champion Karolina Pliskova, reigning French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, Prague and Madrid champion and world No 8 Petra Kvitova, and a further six players from the world’s top 20 including No 11 Julia Goerges, No.12 Angelique Kerber, No.13 Daria Kasatkina, No.18 Ash Barty, No.19 Magdalena Rybarikova and No.20 Anastasija Sevastova.
Meanwhile two of the ATP’s top 20 including tournament top seed Diego Schwartzman and Edmund, will be joined in the Nature Valley International draw by three of the sport’s most exciting prospects; 19-year-old Denis Shapovalov, 22-year-old Daniil Medvedev, and 19-year-old Alex de Minaur, along with former world No.3 David Ferrer.
As one of the WTA’s most hotly contested event for years continues to heat up, Goerges said she is excited to enter the Eastbourne field: “when you commit to playing at the Nature Valley International you know you’ll face a tough field,” said the German. “I’m already looking forward to what lies ahead for the grass court season.”
Barty added that she would be looking to build on her impressive grass court performances of 2017. “I reached the doubles final at Eastbourne last year after reaching the singles final and winning the doubles title in Birmingham, which was beyond my expectations,” said the Australian. #
“I’d really like to back that up with a strong singles campaign at the National Valley International this year.”
Tournament Director Gavin Fletcher said he’s delighted with the calibre of players who have committed to compete at the Nature Valley International in 2018.
“We made a strong start to the field by securing the world No.2 Caroline Wozniacki and the world No.1 Simona Halep,” said Fletcher.
“Jelena Ostapenko is an exciting talent who’s already built an impressive track record, Petra Kvitova is on an 11-match streak after winning the titles at Prague and Madrid, and Eastbourne was a rankings launch pad for Julia Goerges and Ash Barty in 2017, so it’s very pleasing that they’ve chosen to return to Devonshire Park along with our defending champion Karolina Pliskova.
“As both draws show, the Nature Valley International is attractive to established stars and emerging up-and-comers who want to test themselves against the strongest players in the world, and it’s exciting to give our fans the opportunity to see some of world’s top players, and some of the sport’s most exciting prospects in action.
“Heather Watson, who reached the semi-finals at Eastbourne last year, has confirmed she’s coming back, so, with Johanna Konta and Kyle Edmund also in the draw, British fans will have plenty to cheer about.”
One of two WTA Premier level grass court events, and one of two ATP tournaments, played in the lead-up to Wimbledon, the Nature Valley International features Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Justine Henin, and Kim Clijsters among its former women’s singles champions, and Novak Djokovic, Feliciano Lopez and Andy Roddick among its former men’s singles champions.
This year will mark the 40th anniversary of the BBC’s first Eastbourne telecast. In January, the BBC announced it will extend its existing partnership with the tournament for a further seven years until 2024, broadcasting coverage of both the WTA Premier and ATP 250 events, in a deal that sees live, free to air, coverage of the tournament across TV, radio and online.
For details and tickets www.lta.org.uk/major-events