Heather Watson, the great British hope, returns to Eastbourne’s Aegon International having stormed into last year’s semi-finals.
The Guernsey girl, who captured her maiden Singles crown at the start of season in Australia. arrives with doubts over her fitness.
The British #1 crashed out of last week’s grass court event in Birmingham at the first hurdle with her elbow injury to blame, having skipped the previous tournament in Nottingham citing injury.
She said: “I’m just looking after my elbow and making sure I feel good. I’m going to look after my body and stay healthy.
Watson, who faces world #38 Varvara Lepchenko from America, is joined by Eastbourne-based Brit Johanna Konta and 18-year-old compatriot Harriet Dart as the remaining home players in the star-studded draw.