Tournament withdrawals happen routinely the week before a Grand Slam.
But that hasn’t stopped a lot of players from pulling out of next week’s WTA and ATP Tour events. And they are taking place two weeks before Wimbledon.
Birmingham has been the worst-hit. It’s a Premier event on the WTA Tour and thus has the right to expect a decent field. But it’s been decimated.
Here are the entered players who have withdrawn from Birmingham so far – plus the latest withdrawal, French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko:
Those are just the players who were in the top 25 at the tournament’s entry deadline. Monica Puig, Yaroslava Shvedova and Saisai Zheng also have withdrawn.
Who knows, by the time the draw is made, there might be more.
A lot of players have pulled out of the qualifying as well. And that means, for a Premier-level event, the current cut-off is at No. 334, with doubles specialist Olga Savchuk. That’s not Premier-like.
The carnage isn’t nearly as bad in Mallorca, the International-level tournament also held next week.
Germans Laura Siegemund and Annika Back are out with long-term injuries. So far, Monica Niculescu of Romania is the only other player to withdraw.
Men hard-hit too
On the men’s side, the Queen’s Club event will not have Juan Martin del Potro or Brit Dan Evans. Or French Open Rafael Nadal, Diego Schwartzman or David Goffin. Goffin is still healing that nasty ankle injury suffered in Paris.
In Halle, Germany, only Pablo Carreño Busta is out, after suffering an abdominal injury during his match against Rafael Nadal at the French Open.
Other notable men’s players who have withdrawn next week: Kevin Anderson, Malek Jaziri and Borna Coric.