Injured Cilic ruled out of Chennai Open

Injured Cilic ruled out of Chennai Open

The 17th edition of the tournament will be held at the SDAT Nungambakkam tennis stadium from January 2 to 8 and will see in action an impressive line-up of Indian and international players including world number nine Janko Tipsarevic and world number 10 Nicolas Almagro, defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka and former champion Xavier Malisse.

World number 21 Cilic, winner of the prestigious the singles title in 2009 and 2010, suffered a patella tendon injury which has ruled him out of the Chennai tournament as well as the season’s first Grand Slam, the Australian Open.

With this withdrawal, Karol Beck of Slovakia, ranked no 100 will be a part of the singles main draw at the event, considered to be South Asia’s premier.

“Having started the previous five seasons at the Chennai Open, the city is a home away from home for me. Only an injury could have kept me away from the Chennai Open,” the left-handed Croatian said. “Thankfully, I am recovering well from the patella tendon injury and I’ll surely be back next year. I wish all the participants the best for the tournament. I’ll be following it closely,” he added.

Cilic, a crowd favourite at Chennai, was aiming to become the first singles player to win the tournament on three occasions.

Fernando Soler, tournament director and head of tennis at IMG Worldwide, said: “We will miss Cilic’s sprightly presence. He has been a crowd favourite, a regular over the past five years. The field, however, is solid with three top-25 players, including two from the top-10.”

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