Nishikori pulls out of Brisbane return

Kei Nishikori has pulled out of the season opening Brisbane International, as he continues his recovery from injury.

Nishikori has been on the treatment table since August because of a wrist problem, but had hoped to make his return in Brisbane, in the warm-up tournament for the Australian Open.

However, organisers have confirmed that the Japanese player will be absent when the tournament gets underway on December 31.

“I am so disappointed to miss Brisbane this year,” said Nishikori.

“For years it’s been my first tournament of the season and I always feel so at home there. I really look forward to coming back to Brisbane in the future.”

Nishikori had been handed the fifth seed for the tournament, despite dropping down the world rankings to 22 at the end of last season after his long spell on the sidelines.