Sharapova and Keys withdraw from Birmingham tournament

Two time Wimbledon champion Maris Sharapova, and French Open Finalist, Madison Keys have both been forced to withdraw from the Nature Valley Classic tennis tournament in Birmingham, but for different reasons. Sharapova said that her withdrawal was caused by the need to “take care of her body”, while Keys has been forced out by an abdominal injury.

Sharapova said : ” I have great memories of Birmingham so I am disappointed not to be able to play this year. I need to take care of my body and make sure I stay healthy and sometimes that means you have to take tough decisions like this one. I wish everyone in Birmingham a great tournament.”

Keys was equally disappointed to miss the tournament and added: ” I am sorry to have to pull out of Birmingham this year. Everyone knows how much I love playing on grass, and I was looking forward to starting my grass season there, but unfortunately I aggravated an injury I sustained in Rome and need to erst as much as I can right now. I look forward to returning to Birmingham next year and playing in front of its great fans.”

Despite these withdrawals the line up remains strong with Donna Vekic, Johanna Konte, current Wimbledon champion Gabrine Muguruza and a host of other stars available to play.

Nature Valley Classic Tournament Director, Patrick Hughesman said: ” Of course it is always disappointing to lose players of the stature of Madison and Maria, but that is the nature of sport and we understand that their health has to come first, particularly after a gruelling clay court season. Fortunately our player list is still incredibly strong and this remains one of the best lineups the tournament has ever had.”

The tournament runs from 16 – 24 June at Edgbaston Priory Tennis Club.