Former world No1 Novak Djokovic intends to use a maiden appearance at Eastbourne as a mechanism to find his form before embarking on a quest for a fourth Wimbledon title.
Djokovic has endured a turbulent year since becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand slams simultaneously after victory at the French Open a little over 12 months ago.
The 30-year-old currently holds none of the game’s major crowns, has only won one title since his success at Roland Garros, has parted company with his coaching team and slipped to world No4.
“I am looking forward to fine-tuning my grass court game ahead of Wimbledon,” said Djokovic, who has won 12 grand slams. “This will be my first trip to Eastbourne, I have heard great things about the tournament.”
Fifth seed Jo Wilfried Tsonga, meanwhile, became the latest high-profile casualty of the Aegon Championships at Queen’s Club after losing in straight sets to Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller on Wednesday.
Following the lead of Sir Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Milos Raonic, who all crashed out on Tuesday, Frenchman Tsonga succumbed 6-4, 6-4 to Muller.
There were no such concerns for sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, who fought back from losing the first set to post a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory over France’s Julien Benneteau.
Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova continued her return from a career-threatening hand injury with a 6-2, 6-2 success over British No2 Naomi Broady in the second round of the Aegon Classic.
There were fears for Kvitova’s future in the game after being stabbed by an intruder in her home in December.