Two-time defending champion Petra Kvitova withdraws from Birmingham

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Two-time defending champion Petra Kvitova withdraws from Birmingham

World no. 5 and one of the best grass-court players on the WTA Tour, Petra Kvitova has won two Wimbledon crowns and Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham in the last two years, standing as strong favorite for deep runs at both events this June as well.

Petra was the leader of the WTA Race before Roland Garros, winning Sydney and losing in the final at the Australian Open and Dubai, showing her magic on clay in Stuttgart for a compact and well-organized start of the season.

Unfortunately, Petra suffered a left forearm injury that sidelined her from Roland Garros, doing her best to get back into shape for the beloved grass swing that has not been the case so far, announcing she will not play the Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham, one of her most favorite events on the Tour.

After that terrible injury at the end of 2016, Kvitova played only the second tournament after a comeback in Birmingham, defeating Tereza Smitkova in the title match in what was one of the most emotional moments of her career after everything she had been through in the last six months.

A year ago, Petra returned to Birmingham as the defending champion and won ten commanding sets in a row to lift another trophy, hoping to achieve a three-peat next week before an injury disturbed her plans. Kvitova is working hard to get ready for Wimbledon and this leaves the door open for a new champion in Birmingham, with Naomi Osaka, Ashleigh Barty as the leaders of the pack.

"Unfortunately, Birmingham is too soon but I'm working hard to get back as soon as possible and, of course, keeping everything crossed for Wimbledon."