Top seed and World No.5 Nikolay Devydenko on Wednesday pulled out of the $450,000 ATP Chennai Open tennis tournament as well as the year's first Grand Slam, the Australian Open, after he aggravated a heel injury.
Announcing his withdrawal, the 27-year old Russian said: "It is an old injury that I first noticed during the Shanghai Masters last year. I haven't had a chance to do an MRI scan and this morning, I felt acute pain and it is not possible for me to play."
Davydenko was slated to take on Czech Lukas Dlouhy in the second round on Wednesday, having defeated Austrian Daniel Koellerer on Tuesday night.
The day's schedule was also thrown out of gear following sharp showers in the evening.
Davydenko said he was not sure for how long he would be out of action, but his priority was to diagnose the problem on returning home and take therapeutic treatement.
"I have no information (on the precise nature of injury), but I will go home and do some scan. May be next week, I will know when I will be able to return to the (ATP) tour," he said.
When asked whether his targets for 2009 would have to be revised in the wake of the injury-forced lay-off, Davydenko said: "I am not really concerned about the points. I first want to be fit so that I can play in tournaments and deliver good results."
The Chennai Open thus has lost both its top seed in less than 24 hours. Late on Tuesday night, Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka, the second seed, was beaten in straight sets by qualifier Flavio Cipolla of Italy 6-4, 6-1.
Interestingly, in the previous two editions of the tournament, the second seeded players were beaten in the first round - David Nalbandian in 2007 and Marcos Baghdatis in 2008.