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Kei Nishikori withdraws from Australian Open

The Japenese star has opted to concentrate on his rehabilitation from a wrist injury. Rafa Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray are also doubts.

Kei Nishikori withdraws from Australian Open

Japanese tennis player Kei Nishikori, 28, announced his decision to pull out from this month’s Australian Open in order to continue with his rehabilitation following a long-term wrist injury.

The world number 22 suffered a wrist problem in August and has been sidelined since.

The Australian Open will be the second major event that Nishikori has missed, with last year's U.S. Open his first absence after 21 major consecutive tournament appearances. 

Before his injury, Nishikori was ninth in the world rankings. His next scheduled tournament is next month’s New York Open.

Nishikori: “It hurts that I will have to miss it”

On Wednesday, the three-time Melbourne semi-finalist posted his withdrawal announcement on his app, keisapp.com.

“The Aussie Open is my favourite slam... it’s my ‘home’ slam ... and it hurts that I will have to miss it this year,” Nishikori said.

My rehab is going well but I am just not ready 100 percent to come back yet in best-of-five-set matches.”

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In a statement, Kim’s agent, Oliver van Lindonk, said that the 28-year-old player is “continuing to improve every week.”

“Last week was the best week so far and he practiced twice a day, four days in a row,” added Van Lindonk.

Nishikori is the first man to confirm his withdrawal from this year’s Australia Open.

Doubts still remain about the participation of big names Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Nishikori became the first Japanese tennis player to reach a grand slam final at the 2014 edition of the U.S. Open, losing the title match to the Croatian Marin Cilic.

The Australian Open will be played between the 15th and the 28th of January.