EASTBOURNE, England - The number of top 10 players competing at the Aegon Internation in Eastbourne next week grew to eight on Thursday, as World No.2 Simona Halep followed World No.1 Angelique Kerber in accepting a wildcard to the tournament.
“I am very much looking forward to playing in Eastbourne,” Halep said. “The quality of the draw is very high so I’m hoping for some great matches to give me the best possible preparation ahead of Wimbledon.”
Halep has not played since losing in the final of Roland Garros to Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko, as she withdrew from the Aegon Classic in Birmingham this week with a right ankle injury.
Added tournament director Gavin Fletcher: “It’s great to have another member of the top 10 fighting it out for this year’s title. Simona is one of the most exciting players to emerge onto the WTA Tour in recent years and we look forward to watching her bring her classic counter-punching style to bear on Devonshire Park’s grass courts.”
Kerber accepted a wildcard to play in Eastbourne last week, and the World No.1 ranking will again be in play between her, Halep and Karolina Pliskova in the coming weeks.
Halep will be making her debut in Eastbourne, having reached the quarterfinals in Birmingham in 2015 ahead of the third Grand Slam on the calendar. The Romanian reached the last four at Wimbledon in 2014 for her best-ever result, and was also a quarterfinalist last year.