Just two players from Russia are automatically in the main draw, Ekaterina Makarova and Svetlana Kuznetsova having both experienced the adrenalin of being crowned champion on the Devonshire Park Centre Court.
Makarova, as world #8, will be aiming to recapture the title on a surface that she is comfortable on with 22 victories since 2008, whereas veteran Kuznetsova is unlikely to emulate the form of yesteryears.
Both possess exceptional athleticism around the court, have remarkable power games and can adapt to the often windy conditions at Eastbourne. They will be feared by others in the draw although only Makarova should make a real impact.
2014 Aegon International: Beaten by Germany’s Angelique Kerber in the quarter-final
2015 French Open: Beaten by Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic in the 4th Round
2014 Wimbledon: Quarter-final
Best Wimbledon: Quarter-final (2014)
Biggest scalp: Agnieszka Radwanska at 2014 Wimbledon
Chances of winning: Very possible. The 2010 Eastbourne champion has an incredible win-loss record of 22-6 since 2008 at Devonshire Park so is familiar with the territory, and boasts three quarter-final appearances on the bounce. Last year’s Wimbledon run included shocking then world #4 Agnieszka Radwanska, a grass court specialist, before suffering an upset herself to rising Czech star Lucie Safarova. Big serves, ability around the court, powerful groundstrokes and a solid all-round game means that Makarova has it all – including an Eastbourne crown.
Birth Date: 7 JUNE 1988
Birth Place: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Residence: MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Height: 1.8m (5 FT. 11 IN.)
Weight: 65kg (143 LBS.)
2014 Aegon International: N/A
2015 French Open: Beaten in 2nd Round by Italy’s Francesca Schiavone
2014 Wimbledon: 1st Round
Best Wimbledon: Quarter-final (2003, 2005 & 2007)
Biggest scalp: Jelena Jankovic at 2012 Miami Open
Chances of winning: Zero. The 2004 Eastbourne champion is winding down her career but still has all the armoury and weapons to cause upsets on the circuit. No longer the powerhouse on all surfaces that she was, slipped up in the 1st Round at her last two visits to Wimbledon and skipped Eastbourne since losing to compatriot – and then a qualifier – Ekaterina Makarova in the 2010 quarter-final. Returns with the aim of warming up for Wimbledon rather a realistic chance of winning the prestigious crown.
Birth Date: 27 JUNE 1985
Birth Place: ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
Residence: DUBAI, UAE
Height: 1.73m (5 FT. 8 IN.)
Weight: 73.2kg (161 LBS.)