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Italian tournament begins without Becker

February 24, 1997

MILAN, Italy (AP) _ Boris Becker, citing continuing wrist pain, pulled out of the $815,000 Italian Indoors tournament, which began at Assago Forum today.

ATP doctors said the 29-year-old German star will be given a three-week rest. He may return to action at the Lipton Championships, beginning March 17 in Key Biscayne, Fla.

Becker, who has been plagued by injuries to the tendons and bones of his right hand, missed more than three months of competition after Wimbledon.

The sore wrist forced Becker to pull out from the previous ATP tournaments in Dubai and Antwerp, Belgium.

Italian organizers said Becker, a four-time winner in Milan, will remain a spectator in the initial days of the tournament.

Hard-serving Croatian Goran Ivanisevic, the No. 2 player in the world, is the top seed in Italy’s richest indoor competition, which awards a top prize of $128,000.

Ivanisevic will open up against Russian qualifier Andrei Olhovsky.

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