Defending champion Caroline Wozniacki and British No 1 Johanna Konta will headline a star-studded women’s field, while British No 2 Cameron Norrie and 2016 finalist Richard Gasquet will be among those contesting a strong men’s draw at next month’s Nature Valley International Eastbourne.
The 2019 tournament will again showcase an impressive WTA line-up with a trio of Grand Slam champions, and six of the world’s Top 10 – and 13 of the Top 20 – committing to this year’s women’s singles draw at Devonshire Park.
Australian Open 2018 champion Wozniacki will be joined by fellow former major winners Sloane Stephens (2017 US Open) and Jelena Ostapenko (2017 French Open), along with new world No 4 Kiki Bertens – the champion in Madrid this month – and some of the brightest young stars in tennis including Elina Svitolina, Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka.
A winner on the grass in Nottingham last year and current world No 9 Barty said she was looking forward to immersing herself in Eastbourne life again in 2019:
“I got a great welcome when I played at Eastbourne last year,” said Barty. “The Nature Valley International is so fan-friendly, and it’s a great feeling to play tennis in a relaxed, open atmosphere, in front of such enthusiastic crowds. I’m looking forward to finalising my Wimbledon preparations at Devonshire Park again this year.”
In the men’s draw Cameron Norrie and Richard Gasquet join top seeded Marco Cecchinato, who upset Novak Djokovic to reach the semifinals of last year’s French Open, and fan favourites Fernando Verdasco and Gilles Simon in the 28-man main draw.
Director Gavin Fletcher said: “We are very pleased with this year’s player line-up, which has a long history of opening tennis up to people from the south east and from all over the country.
“Few tennis events in the world give spectators the chance to see inspiring sporting role models up close and personal like Devonshire Park does. It’s a great day out for everyone whether you are new to the sport, a casual player or a regular visitor. There is something for everyone!”
The event will host off-court activities including Family Day on Friday 21 June, which opens up the tournament to parents and children to enjoy the qualifying action, watch the stars on the practice courts, and soak up the atmosphere at Devonshire Park for free.
As part of the LTA’s mission to grow the game by making it more relevant, welcoming, accessible and enjoyable, the tournament will also invite along pupils from 30 local schools, giving them the chance to try tennis, and get inspired by the action around the grounds.