A lingering hip injury has forced New Zealand tennis No 1 Marina Erakovic to abandon plans to compete at Wimbledon.

The 21-year-old today confirmed the stress-related leg problem means she will be unable to compete in the main draw when the tournament starts at the All England Club in London on June 22.

It is the second time Erakovic has had to pull out of a grand slam event this year, following her unavailability for the recently completed French Open.

"It's extremely disappointing. To miss two Grand Slams is pretty big, especially given I have such great memories from my debut at both last year," she said.

Erakovic made the second round at Roland Garros last year and then the third round at Wimbledon. Those results boosted her WTA singles ranking to a career-high 49 last July.

Now ranked 116, Erakovic first experienced problems with her left hip in April when she was forced to withdraw from a tournament in Barcelona, Spain.

She has been rehabilitating in Auckland for the last two months and has only recently resumed practice.

Erakovic, who last competed in a WTA event at Miami in March, intends to head to Europe next month to resume full training with an eye to rejoining the tour in August or September.

"Things are progressing well but I just have to be patient and smart as I return to full training levels both on and off the court," she said.

Should her progress be satisfactory Erakovic may apply to the WTA Tour for a special ranking - available to a player unable to compete for a six month period. For Erakovic, that period would end on September 28.

The special ranking enables a player to regain the ranking they held when she last competed - for Erakovic it would be 83.

She could then use that ranking to enter a maximum of eight WTA Tour events in a 12 month period including one Grand Slam.

Erakovic's official ranking is expected to drop to about 200 at the end of the grass court season so without the special ranking she would need to start her comeback by qualifying for WTA Tour events - or at the ITF Futures and Challenger circuit level.

- NZPA