Marin Cilic has lost a race against time to regain full fitness in time for the start of the Brisbane International, with the world No.9 having to withdraw.
The reigning US Open champion was set to launch his 2015 season at the Queensland Tennis Centre next week but has pulled out citing medical reasons.
The Croatian’s withdrawal opens the door for Australia’s world No.75 Marinko Matosevic, who now joins the main draw field, which already features four players ranked inside the world’s top 11: Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic and Grigor Dimitrov, as well as Argentine Juan Martin del Potro on an injury-protected ranking of No.7.
Brisbane International tournament director Cameron Pearson said Cilic was unlucky to miss next week’s event and welcomed Matosevic into the draw.
“It’s unfortunate Marin won’t be fit to compete in Brisbane and we wish him all the best for his recovery,” he said.
“Marinko Matosevic will now gain direct entry into the field, joining fellow Aussies Lleyton Hewitt, Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis in the men’s draw. With a strong local contingent and some of the biggest international stars all coming to Brisbane it’s certainly shaping up to be another great tournament.”
The final two wildcard entries into the men’s draw will be announced in the coming days.
Brisbane International 2015, presented by Suncorp and supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, will be held at Queensland Tennis Centre from 4 to 11 January.
Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek.