World number four Alexander Zverev has cast some doubt over his Australian Open 2019 participation. The German player withdrew from the World Tennis Challenge with a hamstring injury.
Zverev told the crowd in Adelaide that he injured his hamstring while training. As a result, he would be forced to pull out of the 2-day tournament.
The 21-year-old German declined to elaborate on the seriousness of the injury. But, he also said that he will try and sort it out for Australian Open 2019 which gets underway in Melbourne next Monday.
As a result of Zverev’s exit, Spanish veteran Fernando Verdasco will replace the World number 4 in Monday night’s men’s singles match against Borna Coric at the World Tennis Challenge.
Zverev is currently the fourth favourite to seal the first major of the year. He recently came off the back of a win at the season-ending ATP Finals in London.
He managed to stun Roger Federer in the semi final before defeating Novak Djokovic in the final to claim the title.
Zverev is yet to make the semifinal in a Grand Slam event, but many have backed him in next week’s Australian Open 2019.
Any lingering injury is likely to be tested over the best-of-five set format at Melbourne Park.
Juan Martin Del Petro is one big name who has already been ruled out, with the Argentine fracturing his patella late last year.
The 107th edition of the Australian Open is the richest yet, boasting a total prize pool of $62.5 million.
“We are sad that Zverev has withdrawn from the World Tennis Challenge,” World Tennis Challenge general manager David Hearne said.
“We know that he was excited to play in Adelaide and (Fernando) Verdasco will now replace him tonight.”
Zverev is arguably the top contender to dethrone the big three of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer at Melbourne Park, as he is set to be the No.4 seed.
The 21-year-old is highly rated among tennis experts but has only made it past the fourth round of a Grand Slam once – the quarter-finals of the French Open in 2018.
Zverev’s best performance at the Australian Open is a third-round berth, achieved in both 2017 and 2018.
He recently helped Germany make it to the finals of the Hopman Cup, where he and Angelique Kerber were defeated by Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic of Switzerland.