Paris - Australian former world No 1 Lleyton Hewitt was on Sunday forced to withdraw from the French Open with a left ankle injury, tournament organisers announced.
The 30-year-old, who had been due to play Spain's Albert Montanes in the first round, was replaced by French lucky loser Marc Gicquel.
Hewitt, a two-time Grand Slam champion currently ranked 64th in the world, underwent foot surgery in March and is yet to play competitively since.
The Australian has played in 11 French Opens, reaching the quarter-finals in 2001 and 2004.
Hewitt's withdrawal is the latest injury setback for the organisers after fellow former world No 1's Andy Roddick and Juan Carlos Ferrero were also sidelined with right shoulder injuries.
Roddick, the 2003 US Open winner, had never got beyond the fourth round at the French Open in nine visits, while Spain's Ferrero was the 2003 champion.
The American had suffered first-round defeats in the Madrid and Rome Masters lead-up events.
The 31-year-old Ferrero has played just two tournaments this year, both in his native Spain, as his ranking has slipped to 72.
Argentina's former Wimbledon runner-up David Nalbandian and Chile's Fernando Gonzalez, a 2009 Roland Garros semi-finalist, are also missing from this year's tourmament.
The French Open begins on Sunday and concludes on June 5.