The Swiss tennis star, Martina Hingis, has decided that she will definitely not take part in the Sydney Olympics - ending one of Switzerland's best hopes for a gold medal.
The women's world number one told Swiss television that travelling to Sydney would be too tiring for her, saying that it would be her second trip to Australia within a year.
The Olympic schedule begins just days after the end of the US Open, and unlike in the men's competition the Olympics carry no world ranking points for women.
Announcing her decision, Hingis insisted that she would have liked to represent Switzerland at the games. "But it is not possible," she added.
Hingis would have needed a wild card from the Swiss tennis authorities to qualify for Sydney. She had not played in either of the last two Federation Cup tournaments - a requirement to be eligible for the Olympics.
Whatever the reason for Hingis' withdrawal, her critics within the country are likely to again question her commitment to Switzerland, following her decision not to take part in the Federation Cup earlier this year.
The 19-year-old was supported by her manager, Mario Widmer. "Martina could risk injury if she continues to play after five weeks of competition in the United States," he argued.
swissinfo with agencies
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