Exclusive by Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd
Vera Zvonareva has had a torrid season with niggling injuries, but the Russian star’s participation at Eastbourne is in severe jeopardy due to a recurring shoulder injury.
The 27-year-old practised at Roland Garros but pulled out of the French Open on the opening day just ahead of her match, because of her right shoulder problem.
Although she is set to compete at Devonshire Park, it is highly unlikely she will risk her shoulder and is not entered in next week’s Birmingham grass court tournament.
The two-time 2010 Grand Slam finalist – runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open – said:
“My shoulder injury has still not healed. It is part of the sport, and I have to find a way to get back so I can compete without pain.
“I have had some issues with it before and it’s been bothering me at the end of last year and early this year as well.
“I have not seen a specialist and I have not made any decision about the injury, but it is definitely not the best year.”
And Zvonareva has played only eight tournaments this year ahead of Wimbledon, although kicked off the 2012 season in fine form by capturing the Australian Open Doubles title with compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova.
But she retired with a hip injury at the Pattaya Open and the Qatar Open in February, followed by desert flu and then she skipped Stuttgart in April due to her shoulder injury.
Although she bounced back to make a brief appearance in Madrid, Zvonareva missed Rome and then Roland Garros with the same shoulder problems.