World number-three Andy Murray joined Roger Federer as an absentee at the inaugural edition of the Shanghai Masters, with the Scot withdrawing due to a wrist injury.
Federer pulled out several weeks ago to rest after a season where he reached all four Grand Slam finals and is expected to return for his home event in Basle, Switzerland, from November 2.
Murray’s withdrawal leaves Rafael Nadal as top seed in China’s commercial capital.
Officials said Murray, who suffered his wrist problem in August before the US Open, had been advised to rest the wrist for another several weeks, taking him nearly to the end of the 2009 ATP campaign.
“I apologise for the inconvenience that my withdrawal may cause but I trust you understand, the situation is beyond my control and I would much rather participate in the tournament than be in the current position regarding my health,” Murray said in a letter to tournament officials.
Murray added that the healing process had not gone as quickly as he would have liked and “rehabilitation has to be a priority.” Murray has not played on the ATP since losing in the US Open third round in straight sets to Marin Cilic though he did stress his wrist by playing three Davis Cup ties last month in a British loss to Poland.