Marketa Vondrousova suffers injury in Berlin ahead of Wimbledon title defence

Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova suffered an injury scare ahead of the tournament when she was forced to retire in Berlin.

The Czech, a surprise winner of her first grand slam title last summer, sustained a nasty fall behind the baseline during her second-round match against Anna Kalinskaya at the ecotrans Ladies Open.

Vondrousova, who was leading 5-3 at the time, got up gingerly, holding her right hip area, and took an off-court medical time-out.

She returned with heavy strapping and played two more games but lost both before shaking hands with Kalinskaya.

As the defending champion, Vondrousova is due to play her first-round match at the All England Club on Centre Court on July 2.

The Czech’s predecessor, Elena Rybakina, made it through to the quarter-finals with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Veronika Kudermetova.

Top seed Coco Gauff saw off Ekaterina Alexandrova 7-6 (6) 6-2, while world number three Aryna Sabalenka began her grass-court campaign by beating Daria Kasatkina 6-1 6-4.

It was a good day for the leading names apart from Vondrousova, with Ons Jabeur coming from a set down to defeat young Czech Linda Noskova, while fourth seed Jessica Pegula beat Donna Vekic 6-4 7-5.

Meanwhile, last year’s French Open finalist Karolina Muchova announced she will play at Eastbourne and Wimbledon after more than nine months out following wrist surgery.