BRITISH NO.1 KYLE EDMUND TO CONTEST THE NATURE VALLEY INTERNATIONAL
(May 14, 2018) British No.1 Kyle Edmund will headline the men’s field at the Nature Valley International, a British Tennis event. The 23-year-old, who reached the semi-finals at Australian Open 2018, will play at Eastbourne’s, Devonshire Park for the fourth time, making his first appearance as Britain’s top-ranked player.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing at Eastbourne and I look forward to returning,” said Edmund. “This has been a breakthrough year for me and I’ve been counting down to a return home for the grass court season.”
Edmund has been a favourite with fans across Britain since making his Davis Cup debut in 2015 where, as just the sixth player in the history of Davis Cup tennis to debut in a final, he helped Great Britain to win the Davis Cup title for the first time since 1936. Currently sitting at a career-high ranking of No.19 in the world, he is only the seventh British man to break into the top 20 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.
He started his 2018 season with a quarter-final appearance at the Brisbane International before the swashbuckling Australian Open semi-final run, that made him just the sixth British man in the Open Era to reach the last four at a Grand Slam.Then in April he narrowly missed out on his first ATP Tour title in April, finishing runner-up to Spain’s Pablo Andujar at the Grand Prix Hassan II in Marrakech. In May Edmund scored a battling three-set win over former world No.1 Novak Djokovic in the third round at Madrid, going on to reach the quarter-finals at the Spanish Masters 1000 event.
“Reaching a semi-final in the first Grand Slam of the year was a huge step forward for me, but as a British player, you always have an eye on the grass court tournaments and Wimbledon,” said Edmund. “For me, the Nature Valley International is the best way to prepare for my home Grand Slam.”
Tournament Director Gavin Fletcher says he’s excited to welcome Edmund back to Eastbourne’s Devonshire Park as British No.1.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Kyle playing,” said Fletcher. “Having the British No.1 competing in the men’s draw is great news for local Eastbourne tennis fans, and it’s a big vote of confidence in the field we are assembling,” Fletcher said.
“We’ve loved watching Kyle rise to his career-high ranking this season and his semi-final appearance in Melbourne proves he is capable of big things. He will certainly start as one of the favourites to win the title here.”
An ATP 250 event, the Nature Valley International will run in parallel with a WTA Premier tournament, from June 22 to June 30, 2018. The final stop before Wimbledon, the tournament features 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.