25 Mar 2015

Nadal returns to Queens

12:29 pm on 25 March 2015

Rafael Nadal will start his bid to win a third Wimbledon title by returning to the grass-court tournament at Queen's Club later this year.

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal.

Spanish tennis star Rafael Nadal. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Nadal, a 14-time grand slam champion, has reached the Wimbledon final in each of the five years he played at Queen's, but UK tax laws forced the world No.3 to turn his back on the west London event.

The 28-year-old Spaniard had instead prepared for Wimbledon by playing in Germany at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle in recent years.

Since his last visit to Queen's in 2011, Nadal has failed to get past the fourth round at the All England Club and the former world number one, who last won Wimbledon in 2010, has decided to return after a three-year absence.

"I'm very happy to be back," said Nadal, who won the Queen's title in 2008.

"Queen's is a great event, I always enjoyed it. I had some great feelings there, the atmosphere of the Club - a real tennis club - is very special, the courts are unbelievable."

"I enjoyed Halle but the results have not been perfect for me in Halle, so I want to try Queen's again where the grass courts are a little bit more similar to Wimbledon. That's the reason for my decision."

Australian veteran Lleyton Hewitt will be making one last appearance at the event this year, having been offered a wild card as he winds down a glittering career.

Former Wimbledon winner Andy Murray, defending Queen's champion Grigor Dimitrov and 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka are among the leading players already confirmed to appear at the event in June.