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2002 December 27 - Henman out of Australian Open

Tim Henman has withdrawn from the Australian Open in January due to less than adequate recovery from his shoulder operation in November. He will also miss the Commonwealth Bank International tournament in Kooyong a week earlier, which would have been ideal preperation for his assault on the Australian Open.

Speaking on, Tim said:

"This was a very difficult decision to make. I've been working hard and much progress has been made but it's not quite there yet and I've said all along that I was only going to make the trip to Australia if I felt my shoulder was fully recovered.

"Obviously the Australian Open is a very important event and one which I was very keen to participate in.

"I always enjoy my trips to Australia at the beginning of the year and my goal was to try and compete there again if at all possible.

"However, at this stage of my career I am only interested in making the trip if I feel I can compete with the very best players in the world and have a realistic chance of winning the title.

"Having only just got back on to the practice court I feel I would be rushing my rehabilitation if I was to compete in five-set matches in just over two weeks' time so my long-term health has to come first.

"After all, we're only talking about missing one official event - the first Grand Slam I've missed since 1995 - and that will give me another month to continue my re-hab and hopefully return to action all the better for it."

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