Croatian tennis star Marin Cilic has been forced to withdraw from the upcoming ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam due to a knee issue. The 30-year-old has played in Rotterdam four times so far in his career. Cilic, ranked at No.
10 in the world, debuted at the Rotterdam event in 2011 -- when he made the quarter-final. The Croatian fell just short of winning it all in Rotterdam in 2014 as he ended runner-up in the final to Czech Tomas Berdych. In his last two Rotterdam appearances, the world No.
10 made back-to-back quarter-finals in 2016 and 2017. Cilic hasn't played since losing in the Australian Open round-of-16 to Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut. The Croatian hopes to return to action at the end of this month at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The Dubai event is due to take place from February 25 - March 02. "While my knee rehabilitation is going well, I am still not able to perform at the level I expect of myself, and will have to skip Rotterdam. I was greatly looking forward to returning to this tournament to build on previous success, and (I) am hopeful I will have the opportunity next year.
In the meantime, I will keep fighting hard to get back to 100 per cent for my next tournament in Dubai," Cilic said in an Instagram post. Meanwhile, a place in the Rotterdam main draw has opened for Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin following the withdrawal of Cilic.