LONDON Former world number one Victoria Azarenka will return from a long injury lay-off at Eastbourne next week after receiving a wildcard for the Aegon International grasscourt tournament.
The Belarusian has been out since March after suffering a left foot injury that forced her to miss the French Open.
"I've worked hard to rehabilitate my injury and to get fit for my return," the twice Australian Open told the tournament's website on Wednesday.
"I've played at Eastbourne three times and always enjoyed it. The grass courts are world class which will give me the best possible start to the second half of the season, and the perfect preparation for Wimbledon."
World number eight Azarenka has twice made the semi-finals at Wimbledon but her run ended early last year when she pulled out before her second round match with a knee injury.
She will be joined on the Devonshire Park lawns by five of the world's top 10 including former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska.
"The draw is incredibly strong as usual, and I am very excited to be a part of that," Azarenka said.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)