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Hamstring injury forces Kerber out of Aegon Classic

World number one Angelique Kerber has joined Maria Sharapova, Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova in withdrawing from the Aegon Classic.

Angelique Kerber's Wimbledon preparations were dealt a blow on Sunday after the world number one was forced to withdraw from the Aegon Classic with a hamstring injury.

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.

However, Kerber – who was due to be top seed in Birmingham and face Lucie Safarova in round one – has had to delay her grass-court preparations.

With Wimbledon only two weeks away the injury also puts her participation in Eastbourne in doubt, the 29-year-old unlikely to risk the problem flaring up and ruling her out of the SW19 showpiece.

"It started slowly and then I really felt it yesterday [Saturday] evening," Kerber said. 

"It is my left hamstring, the same one I had in Madrid.

"It was okay and I started practicing again after Paris and then I felt it again in the last few days. 

"I don't want to risk anything now, to do something [worse]."

The tournament has been hit several high-profile withdrawals, with Kerber following Maria Sharapova (hip), Simona Halep (ankle) and Karolina Pliskova (elbow) in pulling out.


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