Ailing Nalbandian could miss Australian

Updated: January 11, 2010, 3:05 AM ET
Associated Press

AUCKLAND, New Zealand -- Argentina's David Nalbandian withdrew from the Heineken Open on Monday because of an abdominal strain that might also keep him out of the Australian Open.

The Auckland tournament was to be Nalbandian's first since May when he underwent hip surgery, but the former world No. 3 pulled out when he sustained a new injury during warmups.

Nalbandian was set to play former Heineken Open champion Philipp Kohlschreiber in the first round Tuesday. Tournament organizer Richard Palmer said a scan confirmed a slight abdominal strain and put Nalbandian's participation in the Australian Open in doubt.

"These usually take 10 to 15 days to come right," Palmer said.

Nalbandian will be replaced in the Auckland tournament by Inigo Cervantes-Huegin of Spain.

"I am very disappointed not to be able to make my comeback this week at the Heineken Open. I was very much looking forward into playing in Auckland once again," Nalbandian said.

"I didn't play much tennis for eight months so it is natural to suffer some small injuries. Although I am disappointed at the moment, I remain confident and positive about making a full-time comeback to the tour soon."


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press