Meningitis strikes ASB Classic second seed

01:43, Jan 31 2009
STRUCK DOWN: ASB Classic second seed and world number 11 Nadia Petrova has had to pull out of the January tournament after contracting viral meningitis.

World number 11 Nadia Petrova has pulled out of the ASB Classic tennis tournament.

The second seeded Russian has been hospitalised with viral meningitis, so travelling to Auckland for the January 5 tournament start has been ruled out.

Tournament director Brenda Perry said it was "a shame" Petrova, 26, would no longer be competing.

"I know she was looking forward to playing the ASB Classic, but in this situation she is obviously in need of medical care and our thoughts go out to her."

Three other top-20 ranked women were confirmed for the tournament, including world No 4 Elena Dementieva.