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Kerber withdraws from Birmingham event due to hamstring injury

19 June 2017

World No. 1 Angelique Kerber will step up her Wimbledon preparations at the Aegon International in Eastbourne after accepting a wild card into the main draw.

A tough year has seen Kerber, 29, cling onto top spot in the world rankings despite not winning a tour level title or registering a win over a Top 20 player.

Kerber said: "It started slowly and then I really felt it yesterday (Saturday) evening".

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"It was fine but then it comes back a little bit".

"I'm still hopeful of playing next week at Eastbourne, and I really want to be right for Wimbledon".

The world number one says the injury has caused issues recently in training and she is keen to avoid any further aggravation with Wimbledon on the horizon.

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"When I started playing again on grass I was feeling much better", she said. In the second round Kerber, who reached the final a year ago at Wimbledon, could play against Lauren Davis or Naomi Osaka, while in the quarter-finals there could be an interesting match against Kristina Mladenovic. "But in a lot of matches you never know what is happening to your body".

Svitolina won the Italian Open in Rome last month, with victories over three top six players, and reached the French Open quarter-finals before losing to Simona Halep. Elina Svitolina is now the highest-ranked player in the draw, with Dominika Cibulkova and Johanna Konta the only other players in the top ten set to be in action.

The German was aiming to begin her recovery from a disappointing clay-court season that saw her win just two matches on the dirt and exit the French Open in round one.

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Kerber withdraws from Birmingham event due to hamstring injury