Exclusive by Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd
Caroline Wozniacki, who claimed her first grass court WTA Tour title by taking the 2009 AEGON International crown, is set to return to Devonshire Park.
The great Dane, a recent world no1, proved to be a popular winner at Eastbourne. But she has not been back to warm-up for Wimbledon since her triumph.
Wozniacki and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska were the two up and coming aces at the 2009 Eastbourne event, both delighting the Centre Court with their incredible talents.
Ex-Eastbourne champion Radwanska is back at Devonshire Park and so far in 2012 is the in-form player alongside Belarussian Victoria Azarenka. However, Azarenka – who made her Eastbourne debut last year – has risen to world no1 since her grunts were heard all over Devonshire Park, and she has not entered the 2012 AEGON International.
Top 10 player Marion Bartoli is scheduled to defend her title, although the former Wimbledon finalist has been dealt a cruel blow by the French Tennis Federation by being denied an Olympic berth for not playing in Fed Cup ties.
Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova and Russian Vera Zvonareva, the former world no2, are returning to grace the grass courts at Eastbourne – with both in with a shot of claiming the 2012 crown.
Although rejuvenated Serb star Ana Ivanovic – an ex-world no1 – will be aiming to win her first title under new coach Nigel Sears, having impressed on the 2011 grass court season and aiming to return to her former glories.