Fifth-ranked Juan Martin del Potro will miss the Australian Open as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.
The US Open finalist fractured his right kneecap in a fall at the Shanghai Masters in October.
The injury saw him withdraw practically on the spot from his third-round match against Borna Coric in Shanghai, and forced him to skip the ATP Finals in London, where he was due to play for the first time in five years.
“I hope you have a great 2019. Recovery is going great and I will tell you later where I will be making my comeback,” he wrote on Twitter on Monday.
“Unfortunately it won’t happen in Australia, I’ll miss you Australian Open, but I’m happy with my progress.”
The Australian Open begins on 14 January at Melbourne Park.
Del Potro will miss the year’s first Grand Slam event for the fourth time in five years. He missed three straight years from 2015 to 2017 due to wrist injuries and when he returned in 2018, he fell in the third round.
His best results at Melbourne Park came in 2009 and 2012, when he advanced to the quarterfinals.
Despite a luckless run with injury, Del Potro nevertheless enjoyed an excellent 2018 season, peaking at a career-high ranking of No.3 in August.
He also enjoyed his most productive year across the four Grand Slam events, winning 17 matches – his best tally since 2009 when he broke through for the US Open title.
He also won the tournament at Indian Wells for his first ATP Masters 1000 title.
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