Kei Nishikori, who had already withdrawn from the season-opening tournament in Brisbane with an ongoing wrist injury, is also withdrawing from the following week's tournament in Sydney.
The former US Open finalist hasn’t played since the beginning of August. Nishikori thought he would be ready to return to action as the season began, but has now in doubt for the Australian Open.
"I'm aiming for the Brisbane International but it could be February, or even March, who knows. I want to make sure I'm in top form when I'm back on tour so I'm in a position to win a Masters or Grand Slam title,” Nishikori told Reuters during the offseason.
The 28-year-old Nishikori is among several big names who have withdrawn from tournaments with injuries as the season begins—Rafael Nadal is not playing Brisbane because of a knee injury, Novak Djokovic withdrew from Doha with a wrist problem, and Stanislas Wawrinka did not play the Abu Dhabi exhibition because he is still getting back to training following knee surgery.
"There was a lot of good that came from this experience," an optimistic Nishikori added. "I wouldn't have met the physical trainer who introduced me to a conditioning method that was new to me. I feel like it could change my body."
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