June 14, 2018 / 3:03 AM / 10 days ago

Sharapova, Keys withdraw from Birmingham

(Reuters) - Maria Sharapova and Madison Keys have withdrawn from next week’s Nature Valley Classic in Birmingham as they look to regain full fitness ahead of Wimbledon.

Jun 6, 2018, Paris, France: Maria Sharapova (RUS) in action during her match against Garbine Muguruza (ESP) on day 11 of the 2018 French Open at Roland Garros. Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion, said she needed rest after reaching the French Open quarter-finals. The 31-year-old Russian served a doping ban in 2016 and was forced to skip the grass-court season last year with a thigh injury.

“I need to take care of my body and make sure I stay healthy,” Sharapova said in a statement. “Sometimes that means you have to take tough decisions like this one.”

American Keys, 23, will miss the Birmingham event due to an abdominal injury.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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