U.S. Open champion Marin Cilic has withdrawn from next week`s Brisbane International with a right shoulder injury, the Croat opting to sit out the Australian Open warm-up event to recover fully ahead of the season`s first grand slam.
Despite the world number nine`s withdrawal, a strong field is expected for the event, including Roger Federer, Kei Nishikori, Milos Raonic, Grigor Dimitrov and Juan Martin del Potro, who have all confirmed their participation.
Cilic`s no-show has opened the way for Australian world number 75 Marinko Matosevic to join compatriots Lleyton Hewitt, who beat Federer in this year`s final, Bernard Tomic and Thanasi Kokkinakis in the men`s draw.
"Very sad I had to withdraw from @BrisbaneTennis tournament. At least happy for my friend #matosevic who got in instead of me," Cilic, 26, tweeted upon announcing his withdrawal.
"It`s unfortunate Marin won`t be fit to compete in Brisbane and we wish him all the best for his recovery," tournament director Cameron Pearson said in a statement.
"(But) with a strong local contingent and some of the biggest international stars all coming to Brisbane, it`s certainly shaping up to be another great tournament."
The Australian Open starts in Melbourne on Jan. 19.