Cilic & Hewitt return to Queen's but Nalbandian absent

David Nalbandian and the injured line judge

Aegon Championships

Queen's Club, London
10-16 June
BBC TV, radio & website

Three more former champions have confirmed they will return to Queen's Club in June, but last year's runner-up David Nalbandian will be absent.

Defending champion Marin Cilic, four-time winner Lleyton Hewitt, and 2010 champion Sam Querrey will be among the field at the Aegon Championships.

Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga are among those already confirmed.

However, Nalbandian is currently out with a shoulder injury and his ranking of 129 is too low to make the draw.

The Argentine was defaulted during last year's final for injuring a line judge.

He was leading by a set against Cilic when he kicked out in frustration at an advertising hoarding, inadvertently catching the official's shin and drawing blood.

Nalbandian was immediately defaulted for unsportsmanlike conduct and lost his prize money and ranking points, while Cilic was awarded victory.

The Croat will return when the Wimbledon warm-up begins on 10 June, along with last year's semi-finalist Grigor Dimitrov and 20-year-old Australian Bernard Tomic.

Tomas Berdych and Juan Martin del Potro have already confirmed their places, and will be among the leading candidates to challenge 2011 finalists Murray and Tsonga.

"It's great what [Murray] has achieved and he deserves it, but to play against him is a nightmare!" said Tsonga.

"You feel like the ball is coming back all the time. When I play against him I know I am the outsider, and I will always respect him."

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Murray targets clay improvement

Argentina's Del Potro will be a major threat after showing he is capable of repeating his US Open winning form of 2009 when he beat Murray and Novak Djokovic in Indian Wells in March.

Berdych's only previous visit to Queen's, in 2005, ended in a first-round defeat and the 27-year-old Czech has since gone to Halle in Germany for his grass-court preparation.

However, this year he has altered his schedule this year as he attempts to go one better than that defeat by Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon three years ago.

"I think it could be a good advantage to be in London to get used to the conditions and to those great courts, and I think this is exactly what I need before Wimbledon," he said.

"The experience of reaching the Wimbledon final [in 2010] was great. It showed me a lot of things - that I'm able to play really well through two weeks, which is very tough. I now have experience of a Grand Slam final and I hope one day I can be able to profit from that."

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