Defending champion Kevin Anderson withdraws from New York Open

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Defending champion Kevin Anderson withdraws from New York Open

The New York Open has suffered a big blow as world No. 5 Kevin Anderson has pulled out of the tournament. Anderson, 32, won the inaugural edition of the New York last year after edging out home-favourite Sam Querrey in a tight final.

Interestingly, the South-African didn't win a single match in straight sets on his way to winning it all in New York as all four of his four wins came in three sets. Anderson hasn't played since picking up a surprise second-round defeat at the Australian Open to rising American star Frances Tiafoe.

The 32-year-old made a great start to the season as he made it all the way at the Tata Open Maharashtra but failed to make a deep run at Melbourne Park. It remains to be seen will Anderson return to action at the Delray Beach Open, which is due to kick off on February 17.

After eight consecutive Delray Beach appearances, 2012 champion Anderson skipped the event last year but has been confirmed for this year's tournament edition. Meanwhile, a place in the New York main draw has opened for rising Swedish star Elias Ymer following the withdrawal of 2018 Wimbledon runner-up Anderson.

Ymer, ranked at No. 115 in the world, is set to debut at the New York event next week. The 22-year-old is also set to play his first ATP event of the season like his 2019 campaign includes only a Rennes Challenger quarter-final showing and two Davis Cup matches played last week respectively.