Spaniard Rafael Nadal will sharpen his grasscourt game at London’s Queen’s Club ahead of Wimbledon in June, organizers of the Aegon Championships said on Tuesday.
The 14-times grand slam champion, ranked fifth in the world, has fond memories of Queen’s, having won the title there in 2008 before going on to beat Roger Federer a few weeks later and claim his first Wimbledon crown.
Defending champion Andy Murray is also confirmed for the traditional warm-up event which starts on June 13.
“Holding that trophy again would be amazing although I am well aware of the difficulties because the tournament always has so many good players,” Nadal said in a statement.
Before his thoughts turn to grass, however, Nadal will seek to return to the kind of form that once made him dominate men’s tennis, particularly on clay.
He suffered a disappointing first-round exit at the Australian Open and with his 30th birthday looming his aura is in danger of fading.
He has not won a title since August in Hamburg and has not added to his grand slam collection since the 2014 French Open when he ruled at Roland Garros for a record ninth time.
He is top seed at this week’s Buenos Aires Open.