WTA Stuttgart: Svetlana Kuznetsova Withdraws, Alize Cornet Enters Main Draw

World number 13 Svetlana Kuznetsova has become the latest player to withdraw from the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, to be held in Stuttgart next week.

Frenchwoman Alize Cornet is to replace the Russian in the draw

Second Year In A Row For Kuznetsova

Having to withdraw will undoubtedly be a blow for Kuznetsova, who has shown some promising form in 2016; The Russian reached the final in Miami just last week and also won the title in Sydney earlier this year.

Kuznetsova would have undoubtedly been a threat in Stuttgart. The former world number two has had success on clay in the past, winning the 2009 French Open, and won the tournament in Stuttgart that year; the first time that the tournament was played on clay. In recent years, she has recorded wins over the likes of Simona Halep in Stuttgart.

However, it is important for Kuznetsova to make sure she is completely fit for the first big clay tournament of the year in Madrid, where she is defending finalist points from last year.

Opportunity For Cornet

It is not necessarily the way she would have wanted to get into the draw, though Cornet will certainly be grateful to get in.

Cornet has missed two months of this season due to injury and will be looking for ranking points as she tries to move back into the top 30 and get seeded for her home Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros.

Clay is not necessarily Cornet's strongest surface, though she is always an potentially dangerous player.

Cornet in Melbourne (Getty/Darrian Traynor)
Cornet in Melbourne (Getty/Darrian Traynor)

Sharapova And Keys Also Withdraw

Kuznetsova joins Maria Sharapova and Madison Keys in withdrawing from the tournament.

Sharapova, a three time champion in Stuttgart, was forced to withdraw after her positive drug test for Meldonium. She has been replaced by a fellow Russian, Ekaterina Makarova, in the draw.

Keys, who has had an erratic season so far, has withdrawn so she can practice more and work on her game. She has been replaced by the tricky Monica Niculescu in the draw.