Tennis: Andy, Yoni withdraw from Masters Cup

Athletes pull out due to Erlich's elbow injury; Nadal also cancels participation.

By
November 4, 2008 07:13
2 minute read.
Tennis: Andy, Yoni withdraw from Masters Cup

Ram erlich 298 88. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich announced on Monday that they will pull out of the season ending Masters Cup in Shanghai due to Erlich's elbow injury. The 31-year-old has struggled with his elbow since the middle of September, and despite his hopes that he would regain fitness in time for the Masters Cup, for which only the top eight doubles teams in the world qualify, the duo had no choice but to throw in the towel. "Unfortunately, I decided not to go to the Masters Cup," Erlich said. "An injury which started out as a little pain in the elbow, which required several days of rest, has turned out to be a bad injury. It's very frustrating that the best year of our career won't end appropriately. I apologized to Andy and now all I can hope for is to recover quickly and enter next year stronger than ever." In Erlich's absence, Ram teamed-up with Max Mirnyi and Michael Llodra to win the titles at Vienna and Lyon, respectively, but in the Masters Cup, the duo can only play together, leaving the team with no option but to pull out. Monday's announcement is a disappointing end to an excellent 2008, in which Ram and Erlich won the Australian Open title and the Masters event at Indian Wells. In the singles event, Rafael Nadal also pulled out of the season-ending Masters Cup tournament on Monday, citing fatigue after a long season and the need to prepare for the Davis Cup final. The world's top-ranked player made the announcement on his Web site, describing his withdrawal as "one of the most difficult decisions in my career." Nadal, who won two Grand Slam titles and the Olympic gold medal this year as he supplanted Roger Federer at No. 1, said he was physically rundown. "It has been a long and difficult year where I managed to obtain great results, both on a professional and on a personal level," he said. "I have mentioned on various occasions that the tennis calendar has been extremely hard with practically all weeks playing and where it forces players to compete week in, week out, making it impossible for a top level player to be 100 percent for each event." The Spaniard, winner of a fourth straight French Open title and first Wimbledon championship this year, withdrew from the Paris Masters last Friday with a knee problem after losing the first set of his quarterfinal match against Nikolai Davydenko. Nadal also said he hoped that his absence would buy him time for the Davis Cup final against host Argentina from November 21-23. "I want to recover and be ready for the important Davis Cup final with my country. That is also another reason for not coming to Shanghai," Nadal added. Nadal will be replaced in Wednesday's draw in Shanghai by Frenchman Gilles Simon. The Spaniard's absence should boost the chances of Federer of winning his fifth Masters Cup, following his triumphs in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007. Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga clinched the final singles berth at the Masters Cup by winning the Paris Masters title on Sunday. The field also includes David Nalbandian, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Davydenko, Andy Roddick and Juan Martin Del Potro. AP contributed to this report

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