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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Stan Wawrinka ruled out of Indian Wells and Miami to focus on recovery from knee injury

Richard Gasquet also withdraws following his 'semi-injured' appearance in Dubai.

Stan Wawrinka has been battling a knee injury since calling his 2017 season early in August. Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP
Stan Wawrinka has been battling a knee injury since calling his 2017 season early in August. Anne-Christine Poujoulat / AFP

Stan Wawrinka has ruled himself out of both Masters 1000 events in Indian Wells and Miami as he continues to recover from a knee injury, while Richard Gasquet has also withdrawn with a similar injury that saw him limp to a first round defeat at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

Three-time grand slam champion Wawrinka, 32, ended his 2017 season in August last year after battling with the knee problem. After withdrawing from the Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi in December, the Swiss former world No 3 played his first tournament at the Australian Open in January, although he visibly struggled in his second round defeat.

Now Wawrinka has confirmed he will not be playing at the two upcoming events in the United States to instead focus on making a full recovery.

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"They are both amazing events, but coming back from a big surgery after having played a few tournaments, I have discussed with my team that it is best for me to build on the progress and go back to practice," Wawrinka said in a statement.

"I've enjoyed being back on tour playing matches and this gives me even more motivation to go back on the practice court. My goal is to find my highest level again and in order to do that, I will keep working hard every single day."

Following his defeat at Melbourne Park, Wawrinka reached the semi-finals of the Sofia Open but followed that with early exits in Rotterdam and Marseille, the second through an injury retirement.

Gasquet has also been struggling with a knee injury, and the Frenchman's movement was clearly restricted when he lost his first round match in Dubai to Borna Coric on Monday.

Indeed, Coric revealed post-match that he knew Gasquet was "semi-injured" after the former world No 7 cancelled a scheduled practice session with the Croatian.

Fellow Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has also been ruled out of Indian Wells due to a knee injury, with Jeremy Chardy, Laslo Djere, and Lukas Lacko replacing the trio in the main draw.