11 Jan 2013

Mounting injury toll ahead of Australian Open

1:57 pm on 11 January 2013

The American tennis player John Isner's down and there may be a few more players yet to go out judging by the mounting injury toll just four days from the start of the Australian Open.

The 13th-ranked player has officially withdrawn from his Melbourne Park campaign due to a knee injury.

Question marks remain over a number of other seeded players at the Open.

Janko Tipsarevic, Kei Nishikori and Juan Monaco all pulled out of the Kooyong lead-up event in the space of 24 hours.

In Sydney, Jo Wilfried-Tsonga, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon withdrew before hitting a ball in anger while Radek Stepanek lasted just one match.

The world's top-two ranked women's players, defending Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka and runner-up Maria Sharapova, also pulled out of the Brisbane event.

The run of injuries comes after former world number one Rafael Nadal scratched himself from the Open last month.