WTA Eastbourne: Belinda Bencic, Petra Kvitova Confirmed

Defending champion Belinda Bencic and Petra Kvitova have become the first two players confirmed for the Aegon International, the final WTA tournament before Wimbledon.

The tournament often attracts some of the biggest names in tennis and it's likely that more high-profile stars will join Bencic and Kvitova at the English south coast.

Bencic Back To Defend Her Title

World number 10 Bencic is returning to Eastbourne after winning her first career title at the tournament last year.

The Swiss star defeated Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets in the final and went on to make the fourth round at Wimbledon for the first time the following week.

Since winning her maiden title in Eastbourne last year, Bencic has cracked the top 10 in the rankings, reaching a career high of seventh earlier this season, and won her second career title at the Rogers Cup in August last year. She'll be looking for a similar result in East Sussex this year as she looks to keep her position near the top of the game.

Bencic beat Agnieszka Radwanska in the final last year (Getty Images/Ben Hoskins)
Bencic beat Agnieszka Radwanska in the final last year (Getty Images/Ben Hoskins)

Kvitova Returns For Fifth Time

World number seven Kvitova is returning to Eastbourne for the fifth time in her career, and will be looking to play some strong tennis at the tournament after having to withdraw from Eastbourne before the tournament last year.

Kvitova reached the final in 2011, losing to Marion Bartoli, before winning the first of her two Wimbledon titles and will certainly be one of the favorites for the title this year.

On the official website for this tournament, Kvitova expressed her excitement about returning to Eastbourne: “This tournament is one of the stand out events of the calendar. The atmosphere, the excellent venue and the fans all go towards making it a great tournament. I think it is the best preparation for Wimbledon and I have some fun memories here. I'm excited to get back on the courts.”

Kvitova will be looking for her first title in Eastbourne (Getty Images/Jan Kruger)
Kvitova will be looking for her first title in Eastbourne (Getty Images/Jan Kruger)

More Stars Could Be In Action

Several more high-profile stars could be in action in Eastbourne this summer.

Angelique Kerber, a two-time runner-up, and Caroline Wozniacki, the 2009 champion, have both played in Eastbourne regularly and could well return to East Sussex to get ready for Wimbledon. 2014 champion Madison Keys, who is confirmed to play in Nottingham, could also return to try and regain her title.

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