New Zealand's tennis number one Marina Erakovic has been ruled out of the ASB Classic and the Australian Open.
An ongoing back injury has ruled the world number 207 out of the season-starting events. Erakovic was set to get a qualifying berth into the ASB Classic, and would have had to qualify for the Australian Open.
"Unfortunately, due to an ongoing injury with my back, I need more rehabilitation and recovery time," said the 29-year-old Erakovic.
"As a result, my return to competition is still uncertain and I will be applying for a protected ranking.
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Erakovic, who made the semifinals at the ASB Classic in 2008, will take some time away from the sport as she recovers.
"I have decided to take full advantage of my first ever summer break in New Zealand by exchanging my tennis shoes for my jandals and finally getting to see some of these beautiful Kiwi beaches."
ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge says Erakovic has played a huge part in New Zealand tennis and she will be missed at the tournament.
"It is such a shame for Marina, her fans and obviously for the ASB Classic as we would have loved to see Marina on court. She has led women's tennis in this country for a decade and it will be a strange feeling starting a week without our kiwi number one in the draw.
"We wish her all the best for a speedy recovery and hope to see her back out on court as soon as possible."