x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova out of Dubai tennis event

A virus sidelines the Czech while injury also rules out Li Na and Vera Zvonareva. Audio interviews

Petra Kvitova is out of the Dubai Tennis Championship with a virus.
Petra Kvitova is out of the Dubai Tennis Championship with a virus.

DUBAI // Petra Kvitova has been forced to withdraw from the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships due to a virus.

The Czech left-hander, who was the No 2 seed at the US$2 million (Dh7,346m) event at the Aviation Club, is disappointed at having to miss a tournament she had been looking forward to for months.

"I am really sorry to have gotten sick," she said. “I love playing in Dubai and am so disappointed to not be able to get on the plane and go and play for the fans and those amazing crowds. I will definitely be back next year and for many years to come. "

Kvitova was one of the favourites to win the event after claiming six titles in 2011, adding the WTA Championships, Brisbane, Paris, Madrid and Linz to her stunning victory at Wimbledon.

Injuries have also forced Li Na, the reigning French Open champion, and Vera Zvonareva to pull out of the event which started today.

The organisers did not give details of the injuries, but Zvonareva, the world No 8, retired hurt from the Pattaya Open earlier this month with a hip problem while Li Na opted out of her first round game in Paris citing lower back trouble.

Last week, Zvonareva also retired from the Qatar Open while trailing Monica Niculescu of Romania 7-5, 3-2 because the hip pain persisted.

There were concerns over the new world No 1 Victoria Azarenka, too, although the Australian Open champion defeated Samantha Stosur 6-1, 6-2 in the Qatar Open final yesterday. The top seeded player in Dubai twisted her right ankle three days earlier but managed to overcome Stosur for a 17th successive victory this year.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The field also includes the defending champion Caroline Wozniacki, the Wimbledon Open champion Petra Kvitova and the US Open winner Stosur.

Jelena Jankovic, the Dubai-based former world No 1, was due to play today as she aims for a "home" win.