Kvitova withdraws from Birmingham Classic - Metro US

Kvitova withdraws from Birmingham Classic

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - WTA Premier 5 - Italian Open - Foro Italico, Rome, Italy - May 16, 2019 Czech Republic's Petra Kvitova in action during her third round match against Greece's Maria Sakkari REUTERS/Matteo Ciambelli

(Reuters) – Two-times defending champion Petra Kvitova withdrawn from next week’s Birmingham Classic as she continues to recover from arm injury that forced her to miss the French Open, Britain’s Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) said on Wednesday.

Kvitova won the Birmingham event in 2017 in just her second tournament back following a serious knife attack that nearly ended her career, and followed up with a victory over Magdalena Rybarikova to lift the title again last year.

“Unfortunately Birmingham is too soon, but I’m working really hard to get back as soon as possible and – of course -keeping everything crossed for Wimbledon,” the 29-year-old wrote on Twitter.

The injury comes as a blow for world number five Kvitova ahead of next month’s Wimbledon, where she will bid for her third title following triumphs in 2011 and 2014.

The LTA confirmed American Madison Keys has also pulled out of the tournament due to an injury.

World number three Karolina Pliskova joins a draw which already features world number one Naomi Osaka and newly-crowned French Open champion Ashleigh Barty.

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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