2016 Aegon International

Player Predictions: Radwanska favourite to head list of entrants

Ex-Devonshire Park champ set to be top seed

Agnieszka Radwanska, a former winner of the prestigious Aegon International is set to be the top seed at this year’s event.

The popular Pole, who won the Wimbledon warm-up event at Eastbourne in 2008 – following a thrilling three set success over Russian Nadia Petrov – will be aiming to take the grass court title for a second time.

She looked to be in with a shout after easing into last year’s final against Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic, only to run out of steam in the third set.

Radwanska is currently ranked #3 in the world, and has the same passion to win trophies on the WTA Tour as she always has.

Swiss teenager Bencic, seen dancing and skipping through Eastbourne town centre clutching her trophy just a few hours after her triumph, is back to defend her crown.

She has climbed into the world’s top since her triumph at Eastbourne, but recently suffered from back problems. Her compatriot Martina Hingis, whose mother is Bencic’s mentor and coach, has criticised the teenager for playing too many tournaments.

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Victoria Azarenka

Victoria Azarenka, who is a resurgent force on the WTA Tour this term and back in the world’s top 5‎, is likely to make another appearance at Devonshire Park.

Although the ex-world #1 Belarussian failed to make much impact last time she competed in the Aegon International, her noisy grunts could be clearly heard all over Devonshire Park when she played.

Two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova, who has slipped to world #9, is back at Eastbourne and will be aiming to stay a bit longer than usual.

The Czech Republic #1 has suffered injuries in the past so withdrawn from events to prepare fully rested for Wimbledon following a gruelling clay court season.

Familiar faces returning from last year should include Dane Caroline Wozniacki – a former Eastbourne champion – Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard and Italian #1 Camila Giorgi.

But it is the British contingent that the majority of fans will be hoping to see in the Wimbledon warm-up tournament.

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Konta with the “I’m coming to Eastbourne” sign

Eastbourne-based Johanna Konta, who turned on the style at last year’s Aegon International, has been a force to be reckoned with ever since.

The Australian-born ace is the British #1, is on the cusp of breaking into the world’s top 20 and reached the semi-final of this year’s Australian Open – shocking American Venis Williams in the 1st Round.

Heather Watson, the British #2, has had a superb season and is back on track to reach the world’s top 20. The Guersney girl has always received massive support from the Centre Court crowd at Devonshire Park.

Laura Robson, a former British #1, may will be given an opportunity to wipe away her disastrous display at last year’s Aegon International that left fans stunned in silence.

She succumbed with ease to the then-Russian and now Australian Daria Gavrilova in a one-sided Qualifying match, and was ridiculed by fans and the media alike for her poor performance.

However, Robson was returning from a 17-month layoff following wrist surgery and was so badly treated harshly by critics ‎that it knocked the confidence of the battling Australian-born ace.

She’s back on the circuit, admittedly struggling for match fitness, but as ever gutsy so it should be a simple question of time before she’s ready to start producing the fireworks she’s capable of.

CONFIRMED 2016 Aegon INTERNATIONAL ENTRANTS

Petra Kvitova CZE
Belinda Bencic SUI
Agnieszka Radwanska POL
Heather Watson GBR
Johanna Konta GBR

For updates on entries, see our Players page.

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