Nadal prepared for last year’s Wimbledon with a win at the Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart with it’s new grass court status, and was at Queen’s last year, but fell in the first round to Alexander Dolgopolov, before a second round exit at Wimbledon.
The season is still early and Stuttgart has yet to announce more players to join their line-up, which already includes Roger Federer and Tommy Haas, but Nadal will look to regain the form that has seen him reach the quarter-finals or higher at the London tournament until last year.
Not only that, but on the five times he has reached the Wimbledon final, he played at Queen’s beforehand.
Nadal said: “I love playing at The Queen’s Club and I am very happy that I will be back this year,” said Nadal. “I will never forget winning the title in 2008, it was a special moment, and going on to win my first Wimbledon. It is a very important tournament, very well organised and on some of the best grass courts in the world.
Holding that trophy again would be amazing although I am well aware of the difficulties because the tournament always has so many good players. With Wimbledon just one week after, it is also important to be playing at Queen’s because it offers the perfect conditions and allows me to be with the British fans who always have given me great support.”
Tournament Director Stephen Farrow said:
“For Rafael Nadal to join our field of players so early is a huge boost to the Aegon Championships. He is one of greatest and most popular players that has ever picked up a tennis racquet, and we know that our ticket-holders will be excited at the prospect of seeing him. He will join our defending champion Andy Murray at The Queen’s Club, and we look forward to welcoming them both in June.”
Nadal started 2016 with a run to the Doha finals, but was bounced out of the Australian Open in the opening round. He returns to the tour this week at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires as the top seed, on a wildcard, in a bid to retain his title.
The Aegon Championships takes place between 13-19 June.
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