Defending champion Jelena Jankovic, last year’s finalist Maria Sharapova, and the 2008 French Open finalist Dinara Safina have all decided to skip the DFS Classic in Birmingham, a Wimbledon warmup event which starts June 9.
World No.3 Jankovic withdrew from the grass-court tournament with the same arm injury that caused her to fly home to Belgrade after losing to Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals of the French Open.
Sharapova, who has won the DFS Classic twice, will skip the event after five consecutive years in the draw in order to be able to focus on Wimbledon better. The Russian world No.1 has also withdrawn from Eastbourne which means she will play no competitive grass-court tennis before Wimbledon.
Safina, ranked 14th in the world, pulled out of Birmingham with a bad back.