Seles withdraws from Hopman Cup

Monica Seles has withdrawn from the United States team for the Hopman Cup mixed tennis event, tournament director Paul McNamee announced on Tuesday.

Monica Seles has withdrawn from the United States team for the Hopman Cup mixed tennis event, tournament director Paul McNamee announced on Tuesday.

Ranked No 6 in the world and a winner of nine Grand Slam titles, Seles was the highest-ranked singles player for the tournament which starts on the weekend at the Burswood Dome.

Seles was expected to arrive into Australia on Wednesday but her management told McNamee that she hadn't recovered from a fractured foot. Her management indicated she was still hopeful of playing in the Australian Open, which she has won four times.

Seles' presence had ensured her adopted United States was seeded No. 1 for the event. She featured in her native country Yugoslavia's 1991 Hopman Cup victory.

She has been replaced by Californian Alexandra Stevenson, who this year became the first female to reach the Wimbledon semifinals from the qualifying draw.

Seles' original partner for the event, Justin Gimelstob, also pulled out.

Gimelstob, who teamed with Chanda Rubin to win the event in 1997, is battling a back injury and his withdrawal has given college star James Blake an unexpected 20th birthday present.

Blake, who turned 20 on Tuesday, is ranked 219th in the world and has played just five singles matches on the men's tour, winning one.

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