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Djokovic, Nadal, Roddick heads Queen’s club field


London : Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic, world number two Rafael Nadal and defending champion Andy Roddick of US will head the field at the Artois Championships, which celebrates its 30th edition this summer.

The prestigious pre-Wimbledon grass event, slated for June 9-15, serves as the traditional tune-up for the Grand Slam at the All England club.

Roddick and Australian Lleyton Hewitt are both aiming for a record fifth title in hopes of surpassing John McEnroe and Boris Becker on four each in West London.

Between them, Roddick and Hewitt have claimed the last eight editions of the tournament between them – Hewitt (2000, 2001, 2002 and 2006) and Roddick (2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007).

Britain’s Andy Murray, who is back on form after a 2007 wrist injury that forced him to miss the summer, will also be seen in action here. He has already won two titles in the first two months of the season.

The tournament celebrates its 30th birthday in 2008 after it started with John McEnroe winning the first of four singles titles.

The roll of honour features many of the sport’s famous names, including McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker and Pete Sampras.

Expecting a huge crowd during the tournament, the officials are also increasing the centre court capacity to nearly 7,000 seats.