Monday, December 24, 2007


Australian Samantha Stosur has withdrawn from January's Australian tennis open because she is not fit enough to play, she said Monday.

Stosur, 23, the top-ranked Australian in world tennis, said she only resumed training three weeks ago after battling viral illnesses throughout 2007, and that she was not ready for the Australian Open - the first grand slam tournament of the year - and other local events.

``I am very disappointed I won't be able to compete during the Australian summer,'' Stosur said. ``I have been back training for the last three weeks but I've realized that I won't be fully ready to compete at the Australian Women's Hardcourts, which starts in six days, and I've also withdrawn from the Australian Open.''

Stosur, ranked 46 on the WTA standings, was hospitalized in Florida in September with viral meningitis after earlier missing a Fed Cup tie and tournaments in the United States because of an unrelated virus.

``I always love competing at home in Australia and have had some of my best results here, which makes the decision not to play especially hard. But I need to concentrate on the long-term goal of getting my health and fitness 100 percent again, so I don't want to start competing again until I'm fully ready.''

Craig Tiley, director of the Jan. 14-27 Australian Open, expressed disappointment for Stosur.

``Sam is a very proud Australian and I know she was really looking forward to her home grand slam,'' Tiley said. ``I wish her a speedy recovery and hope she can be fit, healthy and back on court at full strength soon.''

No comments: