After his disheartening loss to Marco Cecchinato in the French Open quarterfinals, a visibly frustrated Novak Djokovic suggested he might skip the grass-court season.
Six days later, Djokovic accepted a wild card into next week’s Fever-Tree Championships, the Wimbledon tuneup at The Queen’s Club in London.
Djokovic hasn’t played at the tournament – previously known as the Aegon Championships – since 2010, when it was still a 250-level event (it’s since been upgraded to an ATP 500). His best result there came in 2008, when he finished runner-up to Rafael Nadal.
“I am very excited to be playing the Fever-Tree Championships again,” Djokovic said in a statement. “I have happy memories of reaching the final at The Queen’s Club 10 years ago and also winning the doubles title. The atmosphere is always great and I am looking forward to playing in front of the British crowd again.
“After the exciting events in Rome and Paris, I’m ready for new challenges. Grass is very special, it is the rarest of surfaces so I’m happy I’ll have the opportunity to compete at this strong tournament, which will also be a great preparation for Wimbledon.”
Djokovic hasn’t reached a tournament final in nearly a year, but he did win a grass-court title last June in Eastbourne.
The stacked entry list at The Queen’s Club also includes Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro, Marin Cilic, Grigor Dimitrov, Tomas Berdych, Nick Kyrgios, Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic, Stan Wawrinka, and five-time champion Andy Murray – though it’s unclear whether Murray, who is working his way back from hip surgery and hasn’t played since last year’s Wimbledon, will be ready to play.