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Rafael Nadal confirmed for Aegon Championships

February 7, 2017

Australian Open finalist Rafael Nadal has been unveiled as the latest star player to confirm his entry in the Aegon Championships at The Queen's Club in June.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion will be joining what promises to be a star-studded line-up for the ATP 500 event, a favourite with many top players keen to hit their top grass court form ahead of Wimbledon.

Fans booking corporate hospitality for the Aegon Championships can already look forward to world number one and reigning champion Andy Murray playing in the tournament, after the Scot recently confirmed he will continue to appear at the Queen's Club for the rest of his career.

"I am very excited to come back to this amazing event," said Nadal. "The Queen's Club is one of the tournaments that I love to be in."

Explaining what makes the atmosphere one that he really loves, the world number six added: "There's a real tennis club and that makes the event so, so special."

Nadal won the event in 2008 and went on to win Wimbledon, a double also achieved by Murray on two occasions, as well as other stars such as Lleyton Hewitt, Pete Sampras and Boris Becker.

He was also due to appear in the Aegon Championships last year, but was ruled out with the wrist injury that forced him to pull out of the French Open and miss Wimbledon.

Indeed, even in the autumn, when he opened his new academy in the company of Roger Federer, Nadal was unable to do more than have a gentle knock-up, not least because the Swiss star was himself recovering from knee surgery.

Fast forward a few months, and both Nadal and Federer are back at the top. While Federer's extraordinary triumph at the Australian Open captured the imagination, the return to top form of Nadal means he is going to be one to watch for the rest of this year. Indeed, if he can show the sort of form on clay his fans are used to, he may turn up in west London with another French Open title under his belt. If he does, he will have more major titles than Sampras and only three less than Federer.

Indeed, at the age of 30 Nadal may have several more years in him. If Federer can win a Grand Slam at 35 he will fancy his chances and the field is kept level by the fact that Murray and Novak Djokovic will both turn 30 themselves soon, while US Open champion Stan Wawrinka is nearly 32.

Wawrinka also featured in the Aegon Championships last year, as did 2012 winner and 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic. Milos Raonic also featured and got to the final against Murray, a match-up that was to be repeated at Wimbledon a couple of weeks later.

The rest of the line-up is yet to be confirmed, but if the appearances of Murray and Nadal are any guide, this year's tournament is sure to feature some of the very biggest names in men's tennis.  

Voted by the ATP as the best 500 tournament on the circuit for the last two years and the top ATP 250 event in 2014, it is small wonder so many of the top players keep on coming back.

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