Kevin Anderson pulls out of Chennai Open

Kevin Anderson, the second seed at the ongoing Chennai Open, has pulled out of the tournament citing a knee injury, a day ahead of his first match. He was scheduled to play Ramkumar Ramanthan in a second-round tie on Thursday.

Kevin Anderson of South Africa during the practise sesion at the Aircel Chennai Open Tennis Tournament on Monday.   -  R. Ragu

Kevin Anderson, the second seed at the ongoing Chennai Open, has pulled out of the tournament citing a knee injury, a day ahead of his first match. He was scheduled to play Ramkumar Ramanthan in a second-round tie on Thursday. The big-serving South African will be replaced by Alexander Kudryavstev.

Anderson said the knee ‘niggle’ had been a recurrent trouble for him, but he had learnt to deal with it well in his career. “I’ve been having a niggle in my knee for a number of years. But I have always managed it well. My December training (in Florida) took a toll on my knee. The knee itself is fine, but it just aggravated. So, I thought I won’t risk it.”

He is planning to participate in the upcoming ATP 250 event in Auckland, provided his knee heals sufficiently. “Pulling out right now gives me a few days to rest and hopefully I’ll get to play in Auckland.” The tournament begins on January 11, and ends a day before the Australian Open begins, on January 17.

“It comes at a tricky time of the year. I’m very disappointed to be missing out on this tournament. This was my first time in Chennai, and the first tournament of the year so I was looking forward to playing.”

The first Slam of the year, to get prepared for which he had arrived in Chennai, was the consideration in his decision to pull out as well. “My fitness team and I have taken this decision with the Australian Open in mind. The Chennai Open is obviously a very important tournament. So, not just keeping in mind the Australian Open, but tournaments after that as well, to avoid long-term injury