Andy Murray will return to Devonshire Park for the Nature Valley International, Eastbourne.
Murray, who competed in the singles draw at Devonshire Park in 2018, underwent hip resurfacing surgery following January’s Australian Open, and began his comeback at The Fever Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club, London, yesterday.
Murray will team up with Marcelo Melo from Brazil, who is ranked No.4 in the world in doubles, joining fellow wild cards Cameron Norrie and Scott Clayton in the 16-team Eastbourne draw.
Reigning Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber becomes the sixth women’s Grand Slam champion to enter this year, joining Ashleigh Barty (2019 French Open), Simona Halep (2018 French Open) Caroline Wozniacki (2018 Australian Open), Sloane Stephens (2017 US Open) and Jelena Ostapenko (2017 French Open).
“I’ve played some incredibly tough matches at Eastbourne over the years and I have great memories of my runs to the final there in 2012 and 2014, and of course reaching the semi-final last year,” said Kerber. “I always love coming back there and playing in front of the fans on the beautiful grass courts, and it’s the perfect way to fine-tune my grass court game ahead of Wimbledon.“
British No 1 Kyle Edmund, No 3 Dan Evans and Jay Clarke have been awarded wild cards into the main draw.
Evans will arrive in Eastbourne following back-to-back ATP Challenger wins at the Surbiton Trophy and the Nature Valley Open, Nottingham. He said: “I’m very grateful the LTA have given me a wild card into the Nature Valley International. I’ve had a great start to the grass court season, I’m happy with the way I’m playing, and I’m looking forward to getting some more matches under my belt at Eastbourne.”
British women will also see three of the top five in the nation’s rankings join Johanna Konta with No 2 Heather Watson, No.4 Harriet Dart and No 5 Katie Swan accepting wildcards into the women’s main draw.
Tournament director Gavin Fletcher said: “With the return of our two-time finalist Angelique Kerber, this year’s women’s singles draw now features eight of the world’s top 10, and 16 of the top 20, building on the tournament’s legacy of showcasing the best in the women’s game.
“The fans here always love supporting our home players so I know they will get behind our British wild cards, and that they will share my delight in welcoming Andy Murray back on the South Coast playing the Nature Valley International. Hopefully they will enjoy some terrific men’s and women’s tennis during the week, and be inspired to pick up a racket themselves.”