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Defending Wimbledon champ Kvitova suffering with virus


Unwell: Petra Kvitova has withdrawn from Eastbourne

Unwell: Petra Kvitova has withdrawn from Eastbourne

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Unwell: Petra Kvitova has withdrawn from Eastbourne

Defending Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova has been dealt a massive blow in her preparations for the third Grand Slam of the season after being forced to pull out of the Aegon International with a virus.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, who has 16 career titles, confirmed the news of her illness on her Twitter account yesterday afternoon but she hopes to return to Eastbourne to take part in the tournament warm-up event next summer.

The 25-year-old Czech said: "So sorry to have to pull out of one of my favourite tournaments with a viral illness but I need to put my health first right now. I love playing in Eastbourne and hope to be back healthy next year."

Kvitova, who was runner-up in Eastbourne in 2011 - before she claimed her first Wimbledon title - hopes to fully recover with less than a week to go to the Championships.

She said: "I started to not feel well when I got here. Maybe from the plane, I'm not really sure.

"Two days ago I had a really sore throat, and I waited to see what would happen, but it's not much better. I'm just going to rest and try and get better now.

"I already practiced on synthetic grass at home for preparation, like I do every year, and I played maybe three days here on grass, so it wasn't really that bad. It's okay.

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"Of course I wanted to play some matches here, but it doesn't really make sense to play and not be ready for Wimbledon. I may get more sick than I am now. So I hope I can just recover now."

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