Stefan Edberg, winner in Zurich 2010
Defending champion Stefan Edberg has been forced to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Zurich Open today because of hip and groin injuries. His place in the eight-man field has been taken by the current No.1 player in the South African Airways Rankings, Mark Philippoussis.
Edberg, who beat Goran Ivanisevic in the final last year, gave himself as long as possible to be fit, but was forced to admit defeat.
"I am very sorry that I can't play in the BNP Paribas Zurich Open next week," said Edberg. "I love playing there and I had a fantastic week last year. It was a very difficult decision to take but health must come before tennis so that I can continue playing in the future. I am not in good enough shape to play four matches at the moment and I really want to be 100% prepared so that I can do my best. I will be in rehab for a while and then hopefully back again 100% to play in the BNP Paribas Zurich Open next year.’Philippoussis, who won the first ATP Champions Tour event of the year last week in Delray Beach, will try to make it two-in-a-row when he arrives in Switzerland. The Australian will have his work cut out with Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Ivanisevic, Tim Henman, Thomas Muster, Michael Stich and Henri Leconte making up the opposition.
Over the course of his career, Philippoussis had some stunning rivalries with many of the players he will face in Zurich. The Australian announced himself on the world scene by smashing his way past Sampras at the Australian Open in 1996, and also ended Tim Henman's Wimbledon hopes in 2000. He reached the US Open final in 1999, and the Wimbledon final in 2003, losing to Roger Federer.
The champions will be joined once again by eight of the world’s top junior players as part of the event’s unique ‘Where Champions Meet Talents’ format.
Headlining the junior field will be the promising British duo of Oliver Golding and Liam Broady as well as ITF No. 1 and 2 Ranked players Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic and Dominik Thiem of Austria. Alongside them will be Swiss players Dmitri Bretting and Alexander Ritschard, Croatian player Mate Pavic and Sloviakian Filip Horansky.
Once again, The ATP Champions Tour event will follow the usual format, with the eight-man junior tournament being played in parallel. In addition, during the night session on each day of the event, tennis’ past and future champions will unite to play side-by-side in a separate doubles tournament where teams formed of one legend and one junior will do battle against one another.
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