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Safin out of Australian Open tuneup

sports Updated: Jan 12, 2009 16:15 IST

Former world No 1 Marat Safin withdrew on Monday from an eight-man exhibition tournament at Kooyong, the former home of the Australian Open, and was replaced by Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia.

Kooyong Classic officials said Safin's manager informed them that the Russian star, who won the Australian Open in 2005, had a shoulder injury and could not take part in the tournament that begins on Wednesday.

Safin showed up at last week's Hopman Cup where he and his sister, Dinara Safina, lost in the final to Slovakia with facial cuts and bruises. He said the injuries resulted from a fight he was involved in before he left Moscow for Perth, although his play at the Hopman Cup appeared to be unaffected.

The Kooyong tournament includes Roger Federer, Stanislaw Wawrinka, Fernando Gonzalez, Fernando Verdasco, Marin Cilic, Carlos Moya and Marcos Baghdatis.

Each player is guaranteed three matches in the tournament which ends on Saturday. The Australian Open begins next on Monday.