Last Updated: 30/12/19 8:42am
Kei Nishikori has withdrawn from next month’s Australian Open due to a right elbow injury.
The world No 13 has also pulled out of representing Japan in the ATP Cup, an international men’s team event which starts next week and will be played in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.
Nishikori, who has not played since a third-round defeat against Alex de Minaur at the US Open, underwent minor elbow surgery during the off-season.
“Unfortunately I have to pull out of the ATP Cup and the Aussie Open,” Nishikori said in a statement.
“Today, together with my team, we have made this decision as I am still not 100 per cent ready (or) healthy to compete at the highest level,”
“This decision was not taken lightly as Australia is one of my favourite places to compete.
“Together with my team I will keep working hard to be back on court as soon as possible. Thanks for all the support.”
Nishikori, who reached a career-high world No 4 in 2015, is a four-time Australian Open quarter-finalist (2012, 2015, 2016, and 2019).
Andy Murray announced on Saturday that he would miss the season’s opening Grand Slam after failing to recover from an injury sustained at the Davis Cup finals last month.