Stars looking forward to Eastbourne trip

Caroline Wozniacki
Caroline Wozniacki

Former world number one Caroline Wozniacki will be hoping to revisit past glory at the Aegon International this month.

The Danish star, will be amongst a strong line-up at the historic Devonshire Park tournament, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.

Wozniacki beat Virginie Razzano of France, to take the Aegon International title in 2009, which was a breakthrough season for the then 18-year-old Dane. She finished as runner-up to Kim Clijsters at the US Open in her first Grand Slam final, becoming the first Danish player to reach a Grand Slam final in the Open era, and ended the year as world number four.

Wozniacki said, “Winning the Aegon International in 2009 was an amazing moment for me and I have really good memories of that final. We both played some really great tennis, so I was very happy to win my first grass court title.

“2009 was a big year for me, as it was the first year that I finished in the world’s top five, and Eastbourne played a big part in that.”

Wozniacki followed her 2009 successes with two seasons as world number one, but has slipped down the rankings in the last couple of years.

This season has been particularly difficult for the current world number 14, who has had to deal with wrist, shoulder and knee injuries, plus her highly publicised recent split from fiancé Rory McIroy.

She lost in the first round of the French Open at Roland Garros last week, but is hoping to find her form on the grass. She’s looking forward to returning to Devonshire Park, in such an historic year for the event.

Wozniacki said, “There have been so many legendary players at Eastbourne over the last 40 years and it’s a real honour to compete at a tournament with such a great history.

“The crowd is really supportive and there’s always a fantastic atmosphere. I’m sure it will be even more special this year.”

Another former world number one hoping to challenge for the title at Devonshire Park, is Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.

The world number seven hasn’t competed at Eastbourne since 2009, and is eager to get back on the courts where legends such as Martina Navratilova built the great legacy of this event.

Jankovic said, “I’m really looking forward to the Aegon International in this special 40th anniversary year of international tennis at Eastbourne.

“There are lots of great players in the draw this summer and I’m sure there will be some really tough battles on court at Devonshire Park.

“I think it will be a great test for the competitors and very exciting for the spectators.”

Jankovic has been one of the leading lights in women’s tennis since breaking into the top ten in 2007. She is a three times French Open semi-finalist, a former Australian Open semi-finalist and was the 2008 US Open runner-up to Serena Williams.

The Serbian player has had some great successes on grass in recent years. She won the Aegon Classic in Birmingham in 2007 and was also runner up there two years ago. However, the biggest win of her career came in the mixed doubles at The All England Club, in 2007, when she achieved Grand Slam glory alongside Britain’s Jamie Murray.

Jankovic said, “The UK grass court season is really great fun. I’ve played some fantastic matches over the years on this surface and one of the highlights of my career was winning the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with Jamie Murray.”

Jankovic has had some encouraging performances in 2014 but she is still looking for her first title of the year. She was seeded sixth at the French Open, but lost in the fourth round to 10th seed Sara Errani of Italy, earlier this week.

Jankovic said, “I’ve had a solid start to the season with a lot of semi-final finishes and I really hope I can put together a good run of matches on grass at the Aegon International. A good result here would really give me confidence going into Wimbledon.”

Jankovic and Wozniacki will be among a group of ten of the world’s top 20 ranked players, at the Aegon International. With Errani, former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova, former Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska and last year’s Eastbourne champion, Elena Vesnina, also in the star studded line-up, some exceptional tennis is guaranteed.

The Aegon International takes place at Devonshire Park in Eastbourne from June 14 to 21. For information on how to get tickets visit www.aegoninternational.co.uk