Grand Slam champ Li Na signs up for Devonshire

Li Na
Li Na

Grand Slam champion and world No.6 Li Na is the latest star to enter the Aegon International in Eastbourne.

The 31-year-old is one of six of the world’s top ten female players who will take to the courts at Devonshire Park for the tournament from June 15-22 as the game’s elite begin their final preparations for The Championships, Wimbledon.

Li Na has enjoyed a successful year so far after winning the 2013 Shenzhen Open in January, which was also the seventh Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) title of her career.

She also made the final of the Australian Open, losing in three sets to Victoria Azarenka, and having made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon twice in her career, the Chinese player hopes returning to the Aegon International will help her to do even better this time around.

She said, “I am delighted to be heading back to the Aegon International after having such a good time when I was last in Eastbourne in 2011.

“It is great preparation for Wimbledon as the grass courts are immaculate, and the fans there are so knowledgeable about tennis.”

Li Na will be part of a stellar field in this year’s competition with world No.4 Agnieszka Radwańska, No.5 Sara Errani as well as fellow top ten players Petra Kvitova, Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber also confirmed.

Britain’s Laura Robson and Heather Watson will be leading home hopes while last year’s champion Tamira Paszek will be returning to defend her title.

The men’s draw is headed by Argentine world No.17 Juan Monaco although he will face stiff competition from other top 20 players Gilles Simon and Philipp Kohlschreiber, among other international stars.

Last year saw five of the top ten ranked female players competing at the Aegon International with Paszek scooping the title and Andy Roddick winning the men’s tournament.

A bumper crowd is expected again at Devonshire Park this year - particularly on the opening day of the tournament, after it was announced that entry to the grounds will be free. Centre Court and Court One will also have unreserved seating, making it the ideal time to see great tennis served daily.

Sunday June 16 will feature a host of legends competing in a Father’s Day tussle as former British No.1 Greg Rusedski faces off with Mark Philippoussis before they team up with former world No.1 Lindsay Davenport and two-time Wimbledon Doubles Champion Rennae Stubbs in a mixed doubles match.

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