FORMER WORLD NO.3 WAWRINKA ACCEPTS NATURE VALLEY INTERNATIONAL WILD CARD
Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka has accepted a wild card into the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne.
The Swiss former world No.3, who is on the comeback trail following two knee surgeries on his left knee in 2017, reached the second round at the Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club this week.
Champion at the 2014 Australian Open, 2015 French Open and 2016 US Open, Wawrinka boasts the rare distinction of having beaten the world No.1 player in the final at all three tournaments. He will make his Devonshire Park debut having contested the ATP 250 event twice previously, when it was staged at Nottingham in 2006 and 2007.
Wawrinka said he was thankful for the opportunity to continue to reacclimatise himself to grasscourt tennis ahead of Wimbledon.
“I feel good with the way I moved and the way I played my game at Queen’s last week,” said Wawrinka. “I am looking forward to getting some more matches under my belt at Eastbourne next week, getting used to playing important points again and feeling right mentally on the court.
“It isn’t easy to start from zero after surgery and stay positive, but I believe I am physically fit enough to play my best tennis now and I am looking forward to seeing how far that can take me.”
Nature Valley International tournament director Gavin Fletcher said he looked forward to seeing two-time Wimbledon quarterfinalist Wawrinka in action at Eastbourne.
“Stan has one of the most explosive games on the tour and brings with him a wealth of big match experience,” said Fletcher. “We’re delighted that Eastbourne fans are going to have the opportunity to witness his versatile playing style at close quarters.”
World No.1 and French Open champion Simona Halep has withdrawn from the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne due to a right achilles injury and left knee injury.
“I was looking forward to playing and seeing my amazing fans in Eastbourne so I’m disappointed not to be able to play the event this year,” said Halep. “I was experiencing achilles tendon pain and inflammation during the French Open and it has yet to fully recover. I’ve been advised by my doctors that it needs more rest while continuing treatment. I wish everyone in Eastbourne a great tournament and I hope to be back next year.”
World No.2 Caroline Wozniacki will replace Halep as tournament top seed.
Qualifying for the Nature Valley International begins on Friday, June 22 – Family Day – with free entry to Devonshire Park on a first come, first served basis. First round main draw action begins on Sunday, June 24.
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.