Australian hopeful Thanasi Kokkinakis has ruled himself out of the Australian Open and all its lead-up events, saying his shoulder injury has not healed as expected.
Kokkinakis had already withdrawn from a December exhibition match against Lleyton Hewitt due to the soreness in his serving arm, and has now taken to social media, saying he will sit out 2016’s first major.
He says he will undergo minor surgery on his shoulder during this time.
“I’m shattered to let you all know I’m still having issues with my shoulder and won’t be able to play any of the events in Australia this summer,” Kokkinakis said on his Instagram account.
“My team and I had hoped a good rest at the end of the season would fix the problem, but it now turns out I’ll need to have some minor surgery and will be out for the next few months.
“I’m confident this is just a small setback and having it done now is the best option for the long term.
“I was really pumped for the Aussie summer, and looking forward to playing in Adelaide, Brisbane and especially the Aussie Open, so I’m pretty devastated I’ll miss my favourite events of the year.
“For now I will focus on doing everything I can to recover and get back on the court as quickly as possible. I believe I can come back better and stronger.”
Kokkinakis reached a career-high ranking of 69 in 2015 after beating compatriot Bernard Tomic en route to reaching the third round of the French Open.
He is one of the youngest players in the world’s top 100.