Karlovic and Stepanek out of Wimbledon

London: Ivo Karlovic and Radek Stepanek were among five players who withdrew from the men`s singles at Wimbledon because of injury.

Big-serving Karlovic pulled out with a foot problem while Czech world number 25 Stepanek declared himself unfit because of a knee injury.

Karlovic was not the only Croat to rule himself out on Thursday as Mario Ancic withdrew because of back trouble.

They were joined on the sidelines by Argentinian David Nalbandian (leg), who lost in the 2002 Wimbledon final to Australia`s Lleyton Hewitt, and France`s Richard Gasquet (rib).

As Stepanek and Karlovic were both seeded, their exits caused Victor Hanescu and Julien Benneteau to move up into seeded positions.

In the women`s singles, Russia`s world number five Elena Dementieva, a Wimbledon semi-finalist in each of the past two years, was ruled out after failing to recover from the calf injury that cut short her French Open semi-final against eventual champion Francesca Schiavone.

Wimbledon, now the only one of tennis`s four Grand Slams to be played on grass, starts on Monday.

Bureau Report

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