Monfils out of Murray duel
Tokyo - Gael Monfils has pulled out of the Japan Open with a right knee injury ahead of his first round clash against defending champion Andy Murray, organisers said on Monday.
The 26-year-old Frenchman, who lost to compatriot Gilles Simon last week in the Bangkok quarter-finals, reached the final in Tokyo two years ago only to lose to the then world No 1 Rafael Nadal in the final.
Top seed Murray had a 3-2 win-loss record against Monfils.
"I have a tough first-round match against Monfils. I played him five times and lost to him a couple of times. He is a great athlete, so that's a tough match to start," Murray said before the tournament.
Monfils, winner at Sopot, Metz, Montpellier and Stockholm in his career, has yet to win a title this season, although he reached the finals at Montpellier and Doha.
His best results this season were the finals in Doha and Montpellier, losing to Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic and his compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.