Ankle injury to keep Kiefer from Australian Open

January 18th, 2009 - 1:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 18 (DPA) German Nicolas Kiefer lost his fight for fitness and has withdrawn from the Australian Open due to an ankle injury he suffered a week ago.Kiefer had been hoping for a miracle recovery after turning his ankle during a match in Perth at the Hopman Cup.

He was taken off of court in a wheelchair and later underwent a hospital scan which showed tendon and ligament damage.

The 31-year-old fell victim to the worst possible luck as he suffered a freak mishap while leading Slovakia’s Domink Hrbaty 3-1 in their group match.

Kiefer was watching an Hrbaty return sail out over the baseline when he put his weight wrongly on his ankle, crumbling to the court in agony.

Since 2002, Kiefer has lost four times in the Open first round, reaching a surprise semi-final in 2006 and skipping the 2003 and 2007 editions.

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