Defending champion Janko Tipsarevic has pulled out of the Aircel Chennai Open, due to start on Monday, after failing to recover sufficiently from a ruptured heel tendon. The 2014 edition would have been the 29-year-old Serbian’s seventh visit to the city and sixth on the trot.

“I have had a difficult three months after injuring my heel,” said Tipsarevic in a released statement.

“I felt I would recover well in time for the Aircel Chennai Open but regret to say that I will not be able to.

“I apologise to the fans who have always supported me. Chennai was always my favourite tournament to start the new season. I really look forward to recovering quickly and getting back to playing tennis soon.”

After having started the year well with the title in Chennai, Tipsarevic first injured his heel in the fourth-round match at the Australian Open against Nicolas Almagro.

The injury turned chronic since then resulting in him dropping to No. 36 in the world from the heights of the top-10 at the start of 2013. Also, he was unable to play in the Davis Cup final which Serbia lost to the Czech Republic.

Tipsarevic’s place will now be taken by one from the alternates’ list that includes Michael Russell (No. 92), Oleksandr Nedovyesov (93), Donald Young (96), Evgeny Donskoy (98) and Sergiy Stakhovsky (99) among others.

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