Tennis

Hamstring injury forces Kerber to pull out of Birmingham event

World No. 1 Angelique Kerber has suffered a pre-Wimbledon injury scare, pulling out of this week's Aegon Classic at Edgbaston due to a recurrence of a hamstring problem.

The German is also unsure whether she will be able to play at Eastbourne next week due to problems with the left hamstring strain which forced her to retire during her third-round match in Madrid.

"It started slowly and then I really felt it yesterday (Saturday) evening. It is my left hamstring, the same one I had in Madrid," said Kerber.

Kerber had a disappointing claycourt season and went out in the first round at the French Open.

She said the injury flared up again when she returned to training last week.

"It was okay and I started practising again after Paris and then I felt it again in the last few days," said Kerber.

"I don't want to risk anything now, to do something (worse)."

Kerber is the latest big name to have pulled out of the Aegon Classic following Simona Halep's withdrawal with an ankle complaint.

Kerber is chasing an elusive first title this year after failing to get past the third round in her last five tournaments.

The 29-year-old has struggled to impose herself in recent months and her only appearance in a final this year was at the Abierto GNP Seguros competition at Monterrey in April, when she lost to Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

The Eastbourne International tournament begins on June 25 with Wimbledon getting under way a week later. - REUTERS