Azarenka To Return In Eastbourne
Published June 11, 2014 12:15
Azarenka, a former No.1 who was a solid No.2 behind Serena Williams coming out of the Australian swing this year, has played only one match since Australia - dropping her opener at Indian Wells - and has withdrawn from a slew of scheduled stops, including big ones in Doha, Miami, Madrid, Rome and Roland Garros, which was actually the first time in her entire career she has had to miss a Grand Slam.
But the Belarusian - who has fallen to No.8 due to her inactivity - is ready to return to action.
"I've worked hard to rehabilitate my injury and to get fit for my return," Azarenka said. "I've played at Eastbourne three times and always enjoyed it. The grass courts are world class, which will give me the best possible start to the second half of the season, and the perfect preparation for Wimbledon.
"I have great memories of playing at Eastbourne, particularly in 2010 when I reached the final."
Azarenka's best result at Eastbourne was reaching that final in 2010, beating Agnieszka Radwanska, Kim Clijsters and Marion Bartoli in straight sets en route, (the Azarenka-Clijsters highlights are above).
This is the 40th anniversary of the event. "2014 is obviously a very special year for the tournament," Azarenka added. "The draw is incredibly strong as usual, and I am very excited to be a part of that."
"It's fantastic that Victoria will make her return to the tour, and to Devonshire Park on the 40th anniversary of the tournament," Gavin Fletcher, the Tournament Director of the Aegon International, said of the news. "Once again the event has attracted an incredible line-up with five players in the world's Top 10 and 10 of the world's Top 20 competing, including World No.4 Agnieszka Radwanska, World No.6 and former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and former No.1 Caroline Wozniacki."