Hewitt withdraws, cites impending birth of child

Updated: November 8, 2005, 11:05 AM ET
Associated Press

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Two-time champion Lleyton Hewitt withdrew from the Masters Cup in Shanghai because of the pending birth of his first child and was replaced Tuesday by ninth-ranked Gaston Gaudio.

Hewitt's wife, Australian actress Rebecca Cartwright, is expected to give birth within the next two weeks. The Masters Cup begins on Sunday.

Hewitt won the eight-man tournament in 2001 in Sydney and in 2002 in Shanghai.

"I am extremely disappointed," Hewitt said in a statement. "With my baby due in the next two weeks, it is not possible for me to come."

Gaudio qualified for last year's Masters Cup after winning the French Open. The Argentine has won five tournaments this year.

He joins Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, Guillermo Coria, Nikolay Davydenko and Ivan Ljubicic in the ATP's $4.45 million season finale.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press