Brisbane QLD, Australia, 31 December 2014 | Tennis Australia

World No.9 Marin Cilic (CRO) has officially withdrawn from Brisbane International 2015 presented by Suncorp citing medical reasons.

The reigning US Open champion was set to launch his 2015 season at Queensland Tennis Centre next week but has lost his race against time to regain full fitness for the event.

Cilic’s withdrawal opens the door for world No.75 Marinko Matosevic (Vic) to join the elite men’s field, which features four players ranked inside the world’s top 11: Roger Federer (SUI), Kei Nishikori (JPN), Milos Raonic (CAN) and Grigor Dimitrov (BUL). Argentinian ace Juan Martin del Potro will enter the event with an injury protected ranking of No.7.

Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said Cilic was unlucky to miss next week’s event, and welcomed Matosevic into the draw.

“It’s unfortunate Marin won’t be fit to compete in Brisbane and we wish him all the best for his recovery,” he said.

“Marinko Matosevic will now gain direct entry into the field, joining fellow Aussies Lleyton Hewitt (SA), Bernard Tomic (Qld) and Thanasi Kokkinakis (SA) in the men’s draw. With a strong local contingent and some of the biggest international stars all coming to Brisbane it’s certainly shaping up to be another great tournament.”

The final two wildcard entries into the men’s draw will be announced in the coming days.

Brisbane International 2015, presented by Suncorp and supported by Tourism and Events Queensland, will be held at Queensland Tennis Centre from 4-11 January. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketek.

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The tournament is part of the Emirates Australian Open Series, which also incorporates Hopman Cup (Perth), Apia International Sydney, Hobart International and World Tennis Challenge (Adelaide).