New Delhi: The yet to take-off Champions Tennis League (CTL) suffered a major setback today when World No.10 David Ferrer pulled out of the event owing to "health issues".
Had he played for the Punjab Marshalls franchise, Ferrer would have been the highest-ranked men's player in the League beginning November 17.
David Ferrer. File Pic
Speaking on his pull out, the Spaniard said: "I am sorry to tell my fans in India and in Punjab that I will not be able to play the Champions Tennis League in India.
"Over the last six weeks, my tournament schedule has been hectic and because of the many games I've played, a serious inflammation in the lower back has appeared. This prevents me from being able to compete at 100 percent. This injury will not allow me to perform to the best of my ability as I feel pain in my back and I need 10 to 15 days to recover.
"I was very excited to play for the Punjab Marshalls but unfortunately this year is impossible. I hope I can come to India next year and be a part of the League."
CTL founder and former player Vijay Amritraj expressed sadness at Ferrer's withdrawal.
"This is a sad day for the Champions Tennis League. David Ferrer is a great player and to not have him come and play for his team, the Punjab Marshalls, is a big blow to both the Marshalls as well as to us at CTL," said Amritraj.
"His injury is hopefully a minor one, but we wish him a speedy recovery. Obviously the challenge is to now find someone who will be a suitable replacement for David, who will bring charisma and personality along with world class tennis skills to the Punjab Marshalls in their attempt to win the inaugural CTL," he added.