• AEGON Championships

Hewitt and Ward handed Queen's wildcards

ESPN staff
May 22, 2012
Lleyton Hewitt is a four-time champion at Queen's © Getty Images

Former Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt and British No. 2 James Ward have been handed wildcards for the AEGON Championships.

Hewitt completed a grass-court double in 2002, beating Tim Henman in the final at Queen's before going on to win Wimbledon.

The former world No. 1, who has won the event four times, has slipped to 175 in the world rankings after a string of injury setbacks. Hewitt has just returned from foot surgery and has also been given a wildcard for the French Open.

"I'm really looking forward to returning to the AEGON Championships at Queen's this year after a couple of years away, and I appreciate having been given the wildcard," Hewitt said.

"It's been one of my favourite tournaments throughout my career, and to be one of only four players along with John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Andy Roddick to have won the title four times is a thrill.

"It's going to be great to come back after my injury and go straight out onto the best grass courts in the world, and then have Wimbledon to look forward to after that. I can't wait."

Meanwhile, Ward, a surprise semi-finalist last year, narrowly missed out on an all-British final against Andy Murray when he was beaten by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, having claimed the scalps of Stanislas Wawrinka and 2010 champion Sam Querrey en route to the last four.

"I'm really happy and grateful to have been given a wildcard into the AEGON Championships," Ward said. "Reaching the semi-finals last year was a fantastic experience - the best of my career so far, and I'm going to give it everything I've got to try to make the most of what is a great opportunity."

Three more wildcards will be announced before the singles draw is made on June 9. Murray and Tsonga have both confirmed their attendance, as well as Juan Martin Del Potro and Roddick.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.