After it was revealed that his contract had expired with the Halle tournament in Germany, Rafael Nadal announced that he would return to The Queen’s Club to take part in the Aegon Championships. The Spaniard will end a three-year absence from the event and join World No.4 Andy Murray, defending champion Grigor Dimitrov, the current US Open title-holder Marin Cilic, 2014 Australian Open king Stan Wawrinka, and four-time winner Lleyton Hewitt.
The 2008 champion has played at this event on five different occasions and only won once. However, each of those appearances was followed by him reaching the Wimbledon final.
“I always loved playing at The Queen’s Club and I am very happy that I will be back this year,” said Nadal. “It was a great experience for me to lift the trophy in 2008 because it is such an important and traditional tournament. To win Wimbledon a few weeks later was like a dream. Coming to the Aegon Championships helps with the adjustment from clay to grass because the grass courts at Queen’s are so good. It is also a tournament where the people are very nice – the organisers and of course the spectators who always make me feel very welcome in London.”
The tournament has been upgraded to ATP-500 in 2015, with $1 million of additional prize money and an extra week between the French Open and the start of the tournament. The event singles draw has been reduced from 56 to 32 to ensure that the top seeds will all play singles on either Monday or Tuesday.
Following an opening round loss in Doha to kick off the season, Nadal reached the quarter-final in Melbourne, the semi-final in Rio, and won Buenos Aires before recently losing to Milos Raonic in the Indian Wells quarter-final. He is scheduled to play at the Miami Open this week and hopes to win the title for the first time in his career.
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