Murray and Nadal in line for Queen’s return

London: Spain’s world No. 1 Rafael Nadal heads what organisers say is the most formidable line-up for Queen’s, the historic grass tournament in London that is a key warm-up event for Wimbledon.

Aside from Nadal and five others from the present top 10, the tournament is likely to see Britain’s two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray — a five-time winner of the Queen’s title — play as he makes a comeback after hip surgery.

Other stars who are presently outside the top 10 such as Australian firebrand Nick Kyrgios and Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka — who needs the Wimbledon title to complete a sweep of Grand Slam titles — have also confirmed they will play as will last year’s champion Feliciano Lopez.

“To see six of the world’s top 10 players on our entry list before you even get to the names Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic, Feliciano Lopez, Nick Kyrgios and the British No. 1 Kyle Edmund really whets the appetite for a fantastic week of tennis,” said tournament director Stephen Farrow.

“We can’t wait to get started.”

The tournament runs from June 18-24.

On Monday night, former world No. 1 Novak Djokovic showed signs of a return to form with an impressive 7-5, 6-4 victory over Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the opening round of the Madrid Open.

Following early exits in Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Miami and Indian Wells, Djokovic, 30, struck his shots with precision and recorded 26 winners to improve his head-to-head advantage to 12-2 against world No. 20 Nishikori.

Djokovic was broken to love at 2-2 but he recovered well by pouncing on his opponent’s second serve to clinch the opening set in just over an hour.

The two-time winner in Madrid went on to claim a decisive break in the 10th game of the second set to wrap up the contest.

It was Djokovic’s first victory over a top-20 opponent since the Serb overcame Monfils at Eastbourne in June last year.

“I was looking forward to have these kind of matches, looking to try to win these kind of matches,” Djokovic said.

“So that’s why it was really a perfect scenario to start off the tournament. It’s great. I couldn’t ask for a better start.”

— Agencies