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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Two-time defending champion Andre Agassi withdrew from the Australian Open due to an aggravation of an old wrist injury.

The withdrawal was announced by tournament organizers just hours before play was to begin at the year's first Grand Slam tournament.

Agassi, winner at Melbourne Park in 2000-01, was vying to be the first man to win three consecutive Australian Opens since Roy Emerson, who won five in a row from 1963-67.

The 31-year-old American, seeded third, informed Australian Open organizers late Sunday night.

He scheduled a news conference for Monday at his hotel.

Agassi lost to Pete Sampras in the final of an exhibition tournament in Melbourne on Saturday, going down in three sets after two tie-breakers and 1 hour, 48 minutes on court in swirling winds.