World number-two men's tennis player Rafael Nadal of Spain has withdrawn from the season's first Grand Slam tournament, the Australian Open, which begins Monday in Melbourne.
The 19-year-old French Open champion said on his website Tuesday that he would be unable to play because of a foot injury he suffered in October at the Madrid Masters. He has not played a tour event since.
Nadal joins American Andre Agassi on the sidelines for the tournament, which could still lose Russians Marat Safin and Maria Sharapova because of fitness doubts.
But top men's seed and world number-one Roger Federer of Switzerland says he is in good form heading into the event and is fully recovered from the ankle injury that hampered him last season.
Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.