LONDON • Stan Wawrinka will not defend his US Open title and will miss the rest of the season after deciding he required a knee operation.
The 32-year-old Swiss tennis player was troubled by a left-knee problem during a first-round loss to Daniil Medvedev at Wimbledon and revealed earlier this week he would miss the Masters events in Montreal and Cincinnati.
But he has since made the decision to take direct action in a bid to cure the problem.
He said in a statement released through his management yesterday: "I am sad to announce that, after talking with my team and doctor, I had to make a difficult decision to undergo a medical intervention on my knee.
"This was the only solution to make sure I will be able to compete at the top level for many more years."
Continuing his statement, Wawrinka said: "This is obviously extremely disappointing, but I'm already looking ahead and planning my recovery.
"I love this sport and I will work hard to get back to my top level and play many more years."
Wawrinka has been replaced in the US Open draw by Germany's Florian Mayer.
Wawrinka won his third Grand Slam title in New York last year with victory over Novak Djokovic.
Neither will be at Flushing Meadows this year, with Djokovic also calling an early end to his season to rest an elbow problem that forced him to retire during his Wimbledon quarter-final against Tomas Berdych.
It remains to be seen whether world No. 1 Andy Murray will be fit enough to compete as he continues his recovery from a hip problem.
The Scot has withdrawn from next week's Rogers Cup in Montreal - leaving the door open for Rafael Nadal to overtake him at the top of the world rankings - but has not yet announced whether he will play in Cincinnati the following week or at the US Open.
By then, though, his 40-week reign would have come to an end if Nadal reaches the Montreal semi-finals.
"Sadly, I've had to withdraw from Montreal," Murray said. "It's a tournament that I have a lot of great memories from.
"I'm working as hard as I can to get back on the court as soon as possible."
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS