World No.3 Simona Halep will return to Eastbourne this summer after accepting a wild card into the Nature Valley International. The combined WTA Premier and ATP 250 tournament is taking place Friday 21 - Saturday 29 June 2019.
The former world No.1 will be competing on the grass courts at Devonshire Park for the first time since 2017 when she reached the quarter-finals.
"I'm really excited to be heading back to Eastbourne this summer,” said Halep. “I had some great matches when I played there in 2017 and really enjoyed the intimate atmosphere, with some great support from the fans.
“The grass courts are beautiful and provide the best preparation possible for Wimbledon so I'm grateful to the LTA for this wild card opportunity.”
Halep, who won her first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros in 2018, is the fourth Grand Slam champion set to play at the Nature Valley International, joining defending champion Caroline Wozniacki (Australian Open 2018), Sloane Stephens (2017 US Open) and Jelena Ostapenko (2017 French Open). The draw will also feature world No.2 Karolina Pliskova, and some of the WTA tour’s biggest stars including British No.1 Johanna Konta, world No.4 Kiki Bertens, Elina Svitolina, Ashleigh Barty and Aryna Sabalenka.
Tournament Director Gavin Fletcher said: “It’s great news that we’ll be welcoming Simona back to Eastbourne. She had a great run at Devonshire Park in 2017 and we’re looking forward to seeing her make her return to Eastbourne’s grass courts this summer.
“The Nature Valley International has once again attracted an incredibly strong field, and we’re delighted to give fans the opportunity to get close to the world class tennis action with three of the top five – and 14 of the top 20 – competing for this historic women’s title this summer."