|Posted on September 24, 2011 at 3:45 AM|
THE STAR ON LINE
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Defending champion Youzhny and Berdych out of Malaysian Open
PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Open tennis championships will begin today, with the qualifying event, without a world top-10 player and the defending champion.
World No. 9 Tomas Berdych and defending champion Mikhail Youzhny have pulled out from the tournament because of recurring injuries.
Tournament director Nick Freyer said that Czech Republic’s Berdych had been troubled by a shoulder injury for a few weeks now and that it was the same injury which forced him to retire from his match in the third round of the US Open while playing against Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic.
“I am really sorry I cannot make it to Kuala Lumpur this year. I have had some good results there before and I really like the city and the people,” Berdych said in a message.
“I was really looking forward to being there again but my shoulder is still troubling me. I was able to play one singles in Davis Cup (against Romania last week) but it has flared up again and I need to rest for few more days. I hope I can come back next year.”
World No. 32 Youzhny, meanwhile, is suffering from a chronic back injury after playing an extended Davis Cup match for Russia against Brazil last week. He needed five hours to defeat Thomaz Bellucci 2-6, 6-3, 5-7, 6-4, 14-12.
“I have to take care of my back and that means I have to undergo some specialist treatment in Moscow,” said Youzhny.
“That’s why I cannot make the trip to Kuala Lumpur. This is a tournament I like very much and last year was very successful for me. I want to say thank you for the invitation and to wish all the fans a good time.”
Their withdrawal means that world No. 12 Nicolas Almagro of Spain will be the top seed.
Other players set to grace the tournament at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil are former champion Nikolay Davydenko of Russia, Cyprus’ Marcos Baghdatis and Bernard Tomic of Australia.