Rosset pulls out of Olympics
Switzerland's top men's tennis player, Marc Rosset, has withdrawn from the Olympic Games in Sydney, just days before the start of the event. His decision comes so late that Switzerland will not be able to send a replacement.
In a statement released on Tuesday, 29-year-old Rosset said he had decided not to go because of "extreme physical and mental exhaustion".
"If I go to Sydney, it is to win a medal for my country," he said in the statement, "not to go down in the records as having participated."
Rosset's decision means neither of Switzerland's top two tennis players will be present in Sydney. The world number one women's player, Martina Hingis, declined to go, as did Switzerland's second best women's player, Patty Schnyder, who withdrew last week.
The move also means that Roger Federer will be the only male player representing Switzerland in the tennis tournament, as the rules do not allow Switzerland to substitute Rosset.
"We would like to but we can not," said Urs Mürner, who is responsible for the Olympic team at the Swiss Tennis Association. "We have spoken with the International Tennis Federation and the final deadline for nominating participants expired on Monday."
He said he did not think Rosset had been aware of the deadline, and that he accepted his decision with regret.
"We are disappointed, particularly as we had good chances of winning a medal in the doubles," Mürner added. Rosset was due to play in the singles tournament, but also with the 19-year-old Federer in the doubles.
Rosset had a good start to the year, winning tournaments in Marseille and London in February. However, his latest performances in the United States have been disappointing. He was eliminated in the first round of three tournaments and only progressed to the second round at the US Open.
by Malcolm Shearmur
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