January 17, 2009 / 8:27 AM / 11 years ago

Tennis-Open-Kiefer pulls out with ankle injury

MELBOURNE, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Germany’s Nicolas Kiefer has been forced to withdraw from next week’s Australian Open with an injury to his left ankle, organisers said on Saturday.

Kiefer twisted his ankle while playing Slovakia’s Dominik Hrbaty during the Hopman Cup tournament in Perth last week.

Tournament director Craig Tiley said on Friday the world number 37 had been walking around Melbourne Park earlier this week and hoped to take his place in the draw against Argentina’s Guillermo Canas.

The 31-year-old, however, lost his race against time and withdrew from the year’s first grand slam, which begins on Monday.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; editing by Pritha Sarkar

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