A trio of the British players has earned the main draw wild card for the next week's WTA event in Eastbourne, the last stop before the third Grand Slam of the season at Wimbledon. Heather Watson, who played in the third round of Wimbledon three times, will compete at the Nature Valley International for the ninth straight year, making a debut as a qualifier in 2010 at the age of 18, losing in the second round to Victoria Azarenka after winning just two games.
In 2014 and 2017 Heather played in the semi-final of Eastbourne, losing to Madison Keys and Caroline Wozniacki, and she seeks some form before Wimbledon after winning just one match during the grass-court swing so far this June.
The British number 6 Harriet Dart has played in the quarter-final of the $100,000 events in Manchester and Ilkley in the last two weeks and she opened her grass season with a semi-final run in Surbiton, more than enough to earn this wild card.
Harriet will play in Eastbourne for the second time, receiving a wild card in 2015 at the age of 18 and this will be her first WTA match since Nanchang last July when she qualified for the main draw. The 19-year-old Katie Swan is currently ranked just outside the Top 200 and she will also try to make an impression and justify this invitation after a slow start of the grass season, winning just one match in three tournaments played so far.
This will be the fourth WTA tournament for the youngster, the second this month after she qualified in Nottingham before a tight loss to Mona Barthel in the opening round.
“It’s great to be back playing on home soil, and I’m really looking forward to coming back to Eastbourne,” said Watson.
“I’ve had some great results at Devonshire Park over the years and I’m going to do my best to make the most out of this wild card opportunity.”
“I’ve worked really hard this season and it was great to see that pay off in Nottingham,” said Swan.ALSO READ: ATP Queen's: Novak Djokovic marches on. Kyrgios dethrones Lopez in thriller
“To receive a wild card into the main draw at Eastbourne is a huge opportunity for me to build on that performance and get some more top level experience. It will be my first time in the main draw at Eastbourne and I’m looking forward to getting started and seeing how far I can go.”