John Isner forced out of Hopman Cup with knee injury
John Isner has withdrawn from the Hopman Cup with a knee injury that leaves USA unable to reach the final in Perth.
Last Updated: 03/01/13 10:21am
Isner had been struggling with tendonitis all week and his withdrawal ahead of his singles rubber with Spain's Fernando Verdasco means Venus Williams is unable to bow out of the event with a victory.
"I'm very, very sorry to all the fans here, I really wanted to play here against Fernando, so I apologise for that and I hope you guys understand," said Isner.
"I absolutely love this event, it's my third time here and it's very disappointing for me and it's a tough one to swallow but for me, first and foremost I've got to try and get 100 per cent healthy."
Spain were awarded the tie in the wake of Isner's withdrawal and go through to Saturday's final as the top-placed team from Group B.
Despite his injury problems, big-serving Isner remains optimistic he will be fit to compete in the Australian Open later this month.
"My plan now is just to treat it as best I can and see how it reacts," he added.
"I do know I've always been a fast healer when I've had little injuries pop up here and there, so I'm confident I'm going to be fine for the Australian Open.
"It's not a great way to start the year but I'd rather it happen this week than in two weeks (at the Australian Open)."
Williams admitted she was frustrated at missing out on the chance to earn a place in the Hopman Cup final but was pleased to get some time on court ahead of the Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne on 14 January.
"I got to play a lot and got to pull a lot out of myself," she said.
"I felt like with every match my serve got better, and this was my best day I have returned, and for my consistency.
"That is what I wanted, and with one more match I think I would have been even better. I am pretty happy with my form."