By Ros Satar, in Eastbourne
- Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova pulls out of Eastbourne with hamstring injury
- Retained her Birmingham title coming into the tournament
- Always considered one of the favourites for Wimbledon.
EASTBOURNE, UK – Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova pulled out of Eastbourne after picking up a hamstring injury, as a precaution ahead of Wimbledon.
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Petra Kvitova, who coasted into Eastbourne off the back of repeating her Nature Valley Classic triumph at Birmingham had to pull out of the Nature Valley International with a hamstring strain.
Benefiting from a bye in the first round, she advanced in straight, but at times testing sets against Kateryna Bondarenko and was set to battle for a spot in the quarter-finals against a returning Agnieszka Radwanska. The Pole had been in great form since having to skip most of the clay court season.
Kvitova is a former runner-up in Eastbourne, reaching the final in 2011, on her debut, before going on to win Wimbledon for the first time, but since then her best has been a run to the quarter-finals (in 2014 – before going on to win Wimbledon a second time).
Kvitova said, in a statement: “I’m really disappointed to have to withdraw from Eastbourne this morning. I felt my hamstring in the Birmingham final and although I played with tape in my match here yesterday, when I woke up this morning it felt worse.
“With Wimbledon around the corner, I couldn’t take the risk of making it worse by playing today. I am sorry to the fans here in Eastbourne who won’t see me play but I hope to back at this beautiful event next year.”
Kvitova, who only returned to competition last year at Roland Garros following a career-threatening knife attack at her home in December 2016, won the Birmingham, tournament in only her second tournament back. However, she bowed out of Wimbledon last year in just her second round.
She was on a 13-match winning streak on the clay this year and has twice won back to back titles this year (St. Petersburg and Doha, followed by Prague and Madrid on the clay). She holds the most titles on tour this year (5) and haw a tour-leading 38 match wins this season.
Wimbledon takes place between 2-15 July.
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