Chennai: Two-times Chennai Open singles champion Marin Cilic of Croatia has been ruled out of the 2012 edition of India’s only and South Asia’s premier ATP World Tour event due to an injury.
The 17th edition of the premier tournament will be held at the SDAT Nungambakkam Tennis Stadium from January 2 to 8, 2012 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 Aircel Chennai Open singles title in 2009 and 2010, suffered a patella tendon injury which has ruled him out of the Aircel Chennai Open 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.
“Having started the previous five seasons at the Aircel Chennai Open, the city is a home away from home for me. Only an injury could have kept me away from the Aircel 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 Aircel Chennai Open on three occasions.
Fernando Soler, Tournament Director and Head of Tennis at IMG Worldwide, said, “We’ll 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.”