Caroline Wozniacki will be back to defend her Eastbourne tennis title next month

Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki

When Eastbourne crowd favourite and defending champion Caroline Wozniacki steps onto court at the Nature Valley International Eastbourne in June, she will join an exceptional family of WTA stars who have made the pilgrimage to Devonshire Park more than 10 times.

The Danish former world No 1 holds an illustrious record at Eastbourne, reaching the semi-finals three times, the final three times, and winning the title twice on Devonshire Park’s iconic lawn courts.

She joins current top 100 players Sam Stosur and Ekaterina Makarova, 2004 Eastbourne Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, and legends including Martina Navratilova, Virginia Wade and Jo Durie who have embraced Devonshire Park’s uniquely friendly, relaxed tennis setting.

Currently ranked No 12, Wozniacki said she was looking forward to returning to the Nature Valley International to defend the title she first won in 2009.

“Eastbourne holds a special place in my heart, and it’s nice to see so many loyal fans and families coming to the event year after year who make all the players feel so welcome,” said Wozniacki.

“There are some great things you can do in and around the event, and there aren’t many tournaments where we get to interact so closely with the fans. That creates a unique atmosphere that makes Eastbourne a really special place for us to play.”

Ranked year-end No.1 in 2010 and 2011, Wozniacki has amassed 30 singles titles and finished eight of the last 10 seasons in the top 10. Appearing in the forty-third Grand Slam tournament of her career in January 2018, she battled to a courageous three set victory over then-No.1 Simona Halep, to claimed her maiden tennis major and recapture the top ranking for the first time in six years.

Nature Valley International Tournament Director Gavin Fletcher said he was delighted to welcome Wozniacki back to the Nature Valley International.

“It’s wonderful to have Caroline back in Eastbourne in 2019 to defend her title,” said Fletcher. “She had a thrilling run through the draw here last year, culminating in a great final against Aryna Sabalenka. Caroline is always a fan favourite here in Eastbourne, and is sure to receive a rousing welcome whenever she competes.

“The Nature Valley International has long been popular with fans because of the tournament’s relaxed, welcoming atmosphere. Our events play a key role in driving the visibility of our sport and inspiring more people, both children and adults, to pick up a racket.

We look forward to building on the success of a record 2018 tournament that saw us sell out centre court and No.1 court on six of the seven main draw days, and achieve a record attendance of 51,641 visitors to the event.”

Wozniacki joins British No.1 Johanna Konta, who has committed to play all three of the LTA’s summer grass court tournaments, in the draw at the Nature Valley Eastbourne