Hewitt Pulls Out of Stockholm Open
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) _ Lleyton Hewitt, recuperating from an illness that has zapped his energy for months, pulled out of the Stockholm Open on Friday.
Sweden’s Jonas Bjorkman will replace the young Australian in the main draw. The tournament, one of the world’s oldest indoors, begins Monday.
Bjorkman could also have made the tournament by entering the qualifying event this weekend or as a wild card.
Hewitt reached the final in Stuttgart, Germany, this month, but withdrew from this week’s Paris Masters. He is sixth in the Champions Race and has qualified for the eight-player field for the Masters Cup in Portugal on Nov. 28-Dec. 3.
``We offered him to play his first-round match on Wednesday, but it still wouldn’t have worked,″ tournament director Per Hjertquist said.
A doubles specialist, Bjorkman was once ranked fourth in the world in singles. That was in 1997, when he won three titles, led the Tour with 71 singles match wins and helped Sweden rout the United States 5-0 in the Davis Cup final in Goteborg.
The Stockholm Open draw is Saturday. U.S. Open champion Marat Safin, No. 1 in the Champions Race, Yevgeny Kafelnikov and Magnus Norman are the top entries.
Gustavo Kuerten and Pete Sampras, second and third in the Champions Race, are not playing in Stockholm.