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Defending champ Svetlana Kuznetsova pulls out of Mercury Open

Defending champion Svetlana Kuznetsova joins defending Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and defending U.S. Open champion Kim Clijsters as late withdrawals from next week's Mercury Insurance Open at La Costa.

Kuznetsova, who is complaining of a groin injury, will be replaced in the main draw by 88th-ranked Vania King of Long Beach. Kuznetsova, a previous U.S. Open winner, told her followers on Twitter she was out of the event before the tournament formally issued a press release.

As it stands now, Vera Zvonareva will be seeded first followed by Andrea Petkovic, Agnieszka Radwanska, Peng Shuai and Ana Ivanovic. Still time to pull out, though!

-- Diane Pucin

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