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Wimbledon champ Kvitova out of Eastbourne through illness

EASTBOURNE, England (AP) — Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova pulled out of the Eastbourne grass-court tournament on Monday because of illness, disrupting her preparations for the defense of her title at the All England Club starting next week.

“I didn’t need antibiotics so that’s a good sign,” Kvitova said, when asked if she expected to be healthy for Wimbledon. “But I have to be in bed and drink hot tea … just lying and resting.”

The second-ranked Kvitova will head to Wimbledon without any tournament matches on grass. She used Eastbourne as a warm-up event in both years she won the Wimbledon title — in 2011 and ’14.

“Of course I wanted to play some matches here, but it doesn’t really make sense to play and not be ready for Wimbledon. Maybe getting more ill than I am now,” Kvitova said.

“That’s how it is. I know that a lot of players don’t play the tournament before (Wimbledon). I’m not the only one.”

Kvitova was the top seed at Eastbourne. Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark is in the highest-seeded player at the tournament.

Kvitova, who hasn’t played since losing in the fourth round at the French Open on June 1, said she started feeling ill when she arrived in Britain on Thursday. She had a sore throat on Saturday and her condition hasn’t improved.

“I have to still think positively, and I hope I’m going to be ready for Wimbledon,” the Czech player said. “I’m playing Tuesday (at Wimbledon next week), so it’s still time for it.”

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