PARIS, France – No.6 seed Petra Kvitova has been forced to withdraw from the 2019 French Open owing to a left forearm injury.
The two-time Wimbledon champion, who is currently leading the Porsche Race to Shenzhen, had hoped to claim a first victory at Roland Garros, having reached the semifinals of 2012, when she was defeated by Maria Sharapova.
She had also shown some promise on the clay this year, winning in Stuttgart before reaching the quarterfinals of Madrid, where she lost to an in-form Kiki Bertens. However, she was forced to retire from her last-16 match against Maria Sakkari in Rome.
Kvitova has announced that she has been forced out of the major not because of the calf injury that plagued her in Italy, but because of an arm issue that has flared up.
“I’m disappointed to have to announce my withdrawal from Roland Garros,” she Tweeted on Monday, just hours before she was due to take to the court to face Sorana Cirstea in a first-round match.
“I’ve had a pain in my left forearm for a few weeks and last night an MRI confirmed a grade two tear, which unfortunately could get a lot worse if I play today.”
Missing out is a particular wretch given that this was the venue where she returned to action after being the victim of a knife attack in her home in Prague.
“Two years ago, I made my comeback here at Roland Garros, so I’m truly sad not to be able to play here this year,” she added. “It is a really tough decision to make, but I wish the tournament all the best for a successful event and can’t wait to be back in 2020.”
The tournament confirmed: "Petra Kvitova has this morning announced her retirement from Roland Garros because of injury.
"We wish her a good recovery and are eager to see her again next year."
Speaking to the press, she confirmed this issue flared up in practice.
"Here I felt some tightness in the forearm. It wasn't something new, so, for me, it was okay. Sometimes I do have tightness in my forearm, which is nothing really unusual," she said. "But then, I hit a normal forehand, and suddenly I felt a sharp pain in the forearm. Tears went to my eyes.
"Then I went to ultrasound. They didn't see anything on ultrasound. They sent me to MRI and they found the tear there."
The 29-year-old is in the midst of a fine year, just one of three players to have won multiple events on the WTA Tour in 2019, having taken the titles in Sydney and Stuttgart. Moreover, she reached the final of the Australian Open, where she was defeated 6-7(2), 7-5, 4-6 by WTA World No.1 Naomi Osaka.
Her place has been taken by Slovenian lucky loser Kaja Juvan.