Henry Browne/Action Images/Reuters picEASTBOURNE, June 22 – Wimbledon titleholder Petra Kvitova will begin her title defense in a week without any official grass-court matches following her withdrawal today from the Eastbourne worldwide. I didn’t feel my best and two days ago I really feel a sore throat. I had to make this decision. “I’m playing Tuesday (at Wimbledon next week), so it’s still time for it”. “I’ll stay here in Eastbourne and then slowly move to London”, she said.
The 25-year-old was knocked out of the French Open in the fourth round having taken six weeks off earlier in the season, citing exhaustion when pulling out of Indian Wells in early March, despite having played only 15 matches.
Kuznetsova improved to 36-8 career record on grass.
Jarmila Gajdosova will face second seed Caroline Wozniacki after coming from a set down to see off Lauren Davis 2-6 6-2 6-1. “It’s something different”, she said. I may get sicker than I am now. “It’s never been an issue for me”. “Just lying down and resting”.
Additional opening-round wins came for Czech Barbora Strycova and Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova.
In other matches, Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan defeated Nicolas Almagro of Spain 6-1, 6-4 and Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine beat Steve Johnson of the United States 6-4, 6-3.
Dominika Cibulkova made a welcome – and winning – return to the tour on Monday, beating British wildcard Harriet Dart in the first round of the Aegon global Eastbourne.