World number four Stan Wawrinka has become the third Swiss tennis player to withdraw from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio because of injury.
“I'm very sad because after Beijing and London I would have liked to experience my third Olympic Games in Brazil; unfortunately that will now not be possible,” the 31-year-old from Lausanne said in a statement issued by his management company and published by the Swiss Tennis Federation on Tuesday.
"I wish all Swiss athletes, whom I will naturally support, lots of luck in Rio."
Wawrinka had lost in the semifinals of the Rogers Cup in Toronto on Saturday. The statement said he "felt increasing pain" in Toronto and was told by his doctor after an MRI exam in Switzerland to "reduce his physical activity for an undetermined period". The statement does not say where Wawrinka is injured.
Wawrinka’s no-show is the latest twist in a drama that has had Swiss tennis fans shaking their heads.
On July 26, Roger Federer hung up his racket for the rest of the season saying he needed to give his injured knee a rest. Federer and Wawrinka had been due to play doubles together in Rio, triggering hopes they could rekindle their gold-medal-winning form from Beijing in 2008.
Federer had also been due to play mixed doubles with 19-year-old Belinda Bencic, who herself pulled out the following day, saying she wasn’t match-fit after problems with her wrist.
Then there were two
With fans and journalists running through the possible permutations, many wanted to see Wawrinka play with doubles specialist Martina Hingis, but Wawrinka poured cold water on those hopes, saying he wanted to concentrate on the singles.
In addition, Bencic’s withdrawal meant her doubles partnership with Hingis was off. Timea Bacsinszky filled that hole, but left Bacsinszky’s original partner Viktorija Golubic with no one to play with, so she was told she would have to stay at home.
As a result, Switzerland’s original six-person squad – on whom several medal hopes had been pinned – is now down to two: Hingis (doubles) and Bacsinszky (singles and doubles).
swissinfo.ch and agencies