Dreekmann strained his left thigh while defeating Arnaud Di Pasquale, the French No 6 seed, 6-2, 6-4, to reach the quarter-finals on Thursday. Dreekmann's withdrawal yesterday at least relieved El Aynaoui of the boredom of waiting around for the rain to stop. Play was not possible before 4.15pm, but may have been earlier had the West Hants Club invested in drainage for their clay courts.
The only thing El Aynaoui needed to know was whether his opponent today would be Germany's Marc-Kevin Goellner, a finalist in 1996, or the Romanian Adrian Voinea.
El Aynaoui, a 28-year-old from Rabat, has had his share of injury problems. In February 1998 he underwent surgery to his right ankle for the second time in 15 months, and did not return to the game until June. None the less, he raised his ranking from No 444 to No 49 last year, and is currently No 26.
The two other quarter-finals delayed yesterday were between Thomas Enqvist, the No 1 seed from Sweden, who beat Karim Alami, the Morrocan No 8 seed, 6-3, 7-5, and Magnus Gustafsson, of Sweden, who faced Austria's Stefan Koubek, seeded No 5.
Enqvist, ranked No 17, made an impressive start to the season, winning the 14th ATP Tour title of his career in Adelaide, and advancing to his first Grand Slam singles final at the Australian Open, where he was defeated by Russia's Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Enqvist only played 17 events in 1998 because of an injury to his right ankle.
The 25-year-old Enqvist was not necessarily one of the players Brad Gilbert, Andre Agassi's coach, had in mind when venturing the opinion last weekend at the United States Open that Agassi and Pete Sampras would continue to prosper "because some of the younger guys haven't stepped up".
Enqvist's prospects of capitalising on the injuries which put Sampras, Pat Rafter and Mark Philippoussis out at Flushing Meadows disappeared when he was beaten in the first round by Germany's Tommy Haas, the No 14 seed.
Tim Henman, another first-round loser at the US Open, will try to gain ATP Tour ranking points in Toulouse rather than play for a slice of the $6m (pounds 3.8m) prize-money on offer at the Grand Slam Cup in Munich the week after next.
The British No 1, who has only won three of his eight matches since reaching the Wimbledon semi-finals, has been given a wild card for Toulouse, where he will be the top seed with a ranking of No 6.Reuse content