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Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic has pulled out of the Aircel Chennai Open 2014 tournament which begins next week, citing chronic heel injury as the reason behind the withdrawal.

The former world number eight is the defending champion of the ATP 250 hardcourt tournament. He’s currently ranked 36th in the world and the withdrawal will certainly affect his ranking prior to the Australian Open tournament which begins later in January.

“I have had a difficult three months after injuring my heel. I felt I would recover well in time for the Aircel Chennai Open but regret to say that I will not be able to take part in the tournament,” he said.

“I apologise to fans who have always supported me and waited to watch me play during matches there. Chennai was always my favorite tournament to start the new season. I really look forward to recovering quickly and getting back to playing tennis soon,” he added.

Tipsarevic injured his knee during the Valencia Open back in October. The injury forced him to pull out of the remaining tournaments of the season including the Davis Cup final between Serbia and Czech Republic. His team lost to the Czech team.

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