American tennis star John Isner will not play in the 2013 Australian Open because of a knee injury, according to Courtney Nguyen of SI.com:
John Isner has officially withdrawn from the Australian Open. #ausopen
This news comes just several hours after Isner was upset by Ryan Harrison (4-6, 4-6) at the Sydney International.
It is an unfortunate development for the 27-year-old Isner, who is the highest-ranked American (No. 13) in men's tennis. He was seeking his first career Grand Slam, but his chance to capture one of the four most prestigious singles titles will have to wait until at least May, when the French Open begins.
This injury may also explain some of Isner's recent struggles. The 6'9" athlete hasn't won consecutive matches since the U.S. Open in August of 2012, and he has failed to win a single set in three matches this year.
At last year’s Australian Open, Isner won two matches, including a five-set thriller against David Nalbandian. After a back-and-forth match, Isner eventually prevailed 10-8 in the final set.
Unfortunately, his run ended in the third round when he lost to Feliciano Lopez of Spain. It was another close match, as Isner competed valiantly before eventually falling 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-7 (0), 6-1.
Isner’s absence boosts the chances of the sport’s other top stars. Rafael Nadal will not be competing in the tournament, so the field was already weaker than usual. Now with Isner sidelined, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and the rest of the field will have an easier path to the finals.
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