Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Safin pulls out of Queen's with a back injury

Looks like someone else joined the recovery race ahead of Wimbledon, and this time it's last year's surprise semifinalist, Marat Safin. The Russian, who was scheduled to face Xavier Malisse in Wednesday's second round action at the Queen's club, was forced to withdraw only hours before the match citing a back injury as the main reason for his withdrawal.

The former world number one, who will be playing the last Wimbledon of his career after announcing his impending retirement earlier this year, has little over 10 days to recover in time for the third Slam of the year, where he has a tough task ahead of him if he plans on defending his semifinal points.

The tournament's 7th seed has been replaced by lucky loser Rik de Voest of South Africa, who received automatic entry into the second round, since Safin had a 1st round bye. This whole lucky loser skipping the first round thing is an advantage I still fail to comprehend.

I can't believe how unlucky Safin is. The one time his seeding helps him get a pretty decent draw he is forced to pull out. Tough break for the Russian. I hope he's ready for Wimbledon.

Meanwhile, France's Gael Monfils also withdrew from the same tournament with a wrist injury he picked up during his second round win over Andrey Golubev. Am not really worried about the Frenchman, because the last time he said he was injured and not ready to play, he made the quarters at Roland Garros. Totally irrelevant, I know, but I choose not to worry about him!!

Other Queen's action saw top seed, Andy Murray, ease past Andreas Seppi, 3rd seed, Gilles Simon edge Grigor Dimitrov in 2 tie-break sets, Mikhail Youzhny beat Marcos Baghdatis, 5th-seed Marin Cilic stumble out to Nicolas Mahut and Lleyton Hewitt rally back to defeat Frederico Gil in 3 sets.

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