MOSCOW, June 19 (R-Sport) – Beaten French Open finalist Maria Sharapova heads a list of seven seeds from Russia for next week's Wimbledon championships published on Wednesday, while five-time champion Venus Williams had pulled out due to injury.
Sharapova, who became the first Russian to win Wimbledon in 2004, is seeded third behind world No. 1 Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka of Belarus.
Other seeded Russians are Maria Kirilenko (10), Nadia Petrova (13), Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (21), Ekaterina Makarova (25) and Svetlana Kuznetsova (26).
In the men’s draw, last year’s quarterfinalist Mikhail Youzhny is the only Russian to get the honor and enters as the 20th seed in a list headed by world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.
The 127th Wimbledon Championship will start on Monday.
The top five seeds are as follows:
1. Novak Djokovic
2. Andy Murray
3. Roger Federer
4. David Ferrer
5. Rafael Nadal
1. Serena Williams
2. Victoria Azarenka
3. Maria Sharapova
4. Agnieszka Radwanska
5. Sara Errani
Meanwhile, five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams has pulled out of next week's Grand Slam due to back pains.
The injury has dogged the world No. 34 from the start of the season and forced her to sit out Madrid and Qatar.
“Unfortunately, I will not be able to participate in Wimbledon this year,” Williams wrote on her Facebook page. “I am extremely disappointed as I have always loved The Championships, but I need to take time to let my back heal.”
The 33-year-old added she would return for World Team Tennis tournament in Washington next month.
Williams also has five doubles titles along with her sister Serena, who seeks a sixth singles title as top seed.