Hamstring injury forces Kerber out of 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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