Marin Cilic, one of the two top-10 players in the draw of the Maharashtra Open to be held in Pune, pulled out late on Thursday due to a knee injury. The world No 7 from Croatia announced that he will have to miss the season-opening ATP 250 tournament as his knee pain that began during the end of the season has escalated.
“I am sad to announce I have had to pull out of the Maharashtra Open. My sincerest apologies to the fans and organizers. I was looking forward to returning, however, my knee pains (sic) that began toward the end of the season have escalated. Treatments during the short off season have been helping but there is still a ways to go and I cannot go into this tournament knowing I am not currently able to give 100%,” Cilic said in a post shared on Instagram.
The 30-year-old has opened his season in India for the last few years, starting from the now defunct Chennai Open. He participated in the inaugural edition of the only ATP 250 event in India earlier this year, losing in the semi-final to eventual champion Gilles Simon.
He also announced that he will now begin his season in Australia. He was the runner-up at the 2018 Australian Open, losing the final to Roger Federer.
“I will miss celebrating New Year’s in India this year as I have done for so many years now, but I hope to continue my New Year’s tradition there next year,” he wrote.
His withdrawal means that world No. 104 Pedro Sousa will now gain a main draw entry. The tournament is headlined by 2018 Wimbledon runner-up Kevin Anderson and 2018 Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung. Defending champion Simon had beaten Anderson in the final last year.