Jo-Wilfried Tsonga pulls out tournament on eve of ASB Classic
The men's ASB Classic's star player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has been forced to withdraw from the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi because of an arm injury.
The Frenchman, who Classic organisers have used as their main poster boy for this year's tournament.
After a disastrous tournament last year where David Ferrer, John Isner, Gael Monfils and Tommy Robredo were all high profile no-shows, it would be another disaster if Tsonga doesn't make the trip.
In his only match at the exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi Tsonga lost 6-1 6-1 to Ferrer and then withdrew from the rest of the event.
Ferrer needed only 56 minutes to beat Tsonga and said afterwards he felt 2008 Australian Open runner up was out of form.
"He didn't really play a good match today. I was more consistent in the big points," Ferrer said.
"Tsonga was in fact very inconsistent today. He made too many errors but that can happen in the first match of the season.
"As for my own game, well, I was feeling good on the court. I trained very well in the off season in Valencia with my coach. So probably that has made a difference. Hopefully I can continue this form."
Meanwhile, for the third year in a row, Monfils has pulled out of a tournament at the beginning of the year.
In 2014 and 2015 he let down his fans in Auckland and he announced on Friday that he was pulling out of the Hopman Cup in Perth because of a leg injury.
ASB Classic tournament director, Karl Budge said he was confident Tsonga would still make the trip to Auckland.
"You never really read too much into what happens in exhibition matches. Whether if that was a tour level event he would have pulled out, I'm not sure.
"We've been in dialogue with him today and it's all systems go to pick him up on Tuesday."