Capriati pulls out of Australian Open

Former champion Jennifer Capriati has become the latest big name to withdraw from the Australian Open.

Former champion Jennifer Capriati has become the latest big name to withdraw from the Australian Open.

The 27-year-old, who won back-to-back titles at Melbourne Park in 2001 and 2002, has not recovered from the back injury she sustained at the season-ending WTA Championships in Los Angeles.

Capriati pulled out of the exhibition event in Hong Kong last week to remain in Florida for further treatment but has informed the Australian Open organisers she would not be fit in time to play.

The American, who would have been sixth seed, last year became the first defending champion to lose in the first round of the Australian Open.

She reached the semi-final of the WTA Championships but lost to Kim Clijsters after being one set up with a break in the second while carrying the lower back injury, ending a season plagued by injury.

Capriati follows defending champion Serena Williams and 1995 winner Mary Pierce in withdrawing from the event.

Jelena Dokic is also not expected to play after opting out of the adidas International in Sydney this week.

Her official reason was a lack of fitness, but her notorious father Damir claimed the 20-year-old did not want to return Down Under because she still believed the draw at the 2001 Australian Open was rigged.

The Dokic family moved from Sydney to Belgrade after Jelena was booed off the court having lost to Lindsay Davenport three years ago and she has not played in Australia since.

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