The upcoming Chennai Open has been robbed off some of its sheen with defending champion Janko Tipsarevic on Wednesday withdrawing from the country's premier tennis event owing to a foot injury.
The Serb has been nursing the injury for quite some time now.
"I have had a difficult three months after injuring my heel. I felt I would recover well in time for the Aircel Chennai Open but regret to say that I will not be able to take part in the tournament," he said.
"I apologise to fans who have always supported me and waited to watch me play during matches there. Chennai was always my favourite tournament to start the new season. I always felt very well in Chennai and love this tournament. I really look forward to recovering quickly and getting back to playing tennis soon," he added.
The 29-year-old, ranked 36th in the world, is a regular competitor in the event which starts on December 30.
Tipsarevic had sustained the heel tendon injury at the Valencia Open forcing him to pull out after just three games against Marcel Granollers.
Following this, the Serb was also forced to withdraw from the Davis Cup final against the CzechRepublic and he is still to recover fully from the two-month-old injury.
Tipsarevic had earlier confirmed his presence at the $450,000 tournament to stake a claim to the crown and kickstart his new season.
Tipsarevic had captured his fourth ATP World Tour title this year, defeating Bautista Agut of Spain in Chennai.
Image: Janko Tipsarevic
Photographs: Brad Barket/Getty Images