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September 25, 2017

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Petra Kvitova returns to grass for first time since Wimbledon win

EASTBOURNE, United Kingdom -- Petra Kvitova returns to grass for the first time since her Wimbledon triumph when the Czech plays as second seed at the Eastbourne ATP-WTA event, final tuneup for the All England club.

Number four Kvitova, a French Open semifinalist, won the title in 2008 at Devonshire Park on the blustery English south coast.

She is joined in the field by fellow former champions Marion Bartoli (2011), Caroline Wozniacki (2009) and 2004 winner Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Poland's 2008 winner Agnieszka Radwanska, who lost to Kvitova in the 2011 quarterfinals, heads the field.

Also in the field is former number one and sixth seed Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, who will be trying to win her second match at the venue in three appearances.

On the men's side, Andy Roddick's attempt to rescue his grass-court form before the start of Wimbledon won't be made any easier by his first-round match.

The slumping three-time Wimbledon finalist will start against compatriot Sam Querrey, semifinalist at the weekend at the ATP Queen's Club tournament.

Roddick took a wild card for the south coast tournament after losing in his opening match at Queen's to Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France.

The 29-year-old former number one is desperate to find his tennis again after several seasons of dealing with injury and illness and a rankings fall which has left him at 32 in the world.

"Certainly I'm looking right now," he confessed. "I'm fit enough to play but there are a lot of things to work on."

Top seed for the tournament is Frenchman Richard Gasquet, with Spain's Marcel Granollers on second and Italian Andreas Seppi third.

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