LONDON (AP) _ Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, Britain's top two players, have withdrawn from next month's Australian Open because of injuries.
Henman, the British No. 1, said his shoulder has not fully recovered since undergoing arthroscopic surgery in November.
``This was a very difficult decision to make. I've been working hard and much progress has been made, but it's not quite there yet and I've said all along that I was only going to make the trip to Australia if I felt my shoulder was fully recovered,'' Henman said on his Web site, www.timhenman.org.
Henman had been scheduled to return to action in the Commonwealth Bank International, which starts on Jan. 8, before moving on to Melbourne a week later.
``Obviously the Australian Open is a very important event and one which I was very keen to participate in,'' he said.
``However, at this stage of my career I am only interested in making the trip if I feel I can compete with the very best players in the world and have a realistic chance of winning the title.''
Rusedski, who also withdrew from this week's Qatar Open in Doha and next week's Sydney International Championships, has not recovered from an operation on his right foot.
``The foot has not reacted as well as I would have wanted,'' he said. ``I practiced in London for two weeks and got here (Doha) early, but as soon as I put more stress on it, it was not good.''
Rusedski, a U.S. Open finalist, has already said he would miss a Davis Cup match against Australia in February. He said he may return to the circuit at either the Milan or Marseille tournament next month.
``We have too much tennis and too many changes of balls and surfaces and I am not 21 anymore. With the traveling and so much tennis, that's what causes injuries and you have to be clever with the scheduling,'' he said.