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Wednesday, November 3, 1999 Published at 17:37 GMT

Sport: Tennis

Rusedski down and out in Paris

Greg Rusedski: Bad year for injuries

Defending champion Greg Rusedski has been forced out of the Paris Open with a thigh injury, drastically reducing his chances of qualifying for the prestigious ATP World Championships.

He made the decision to withdraw after going a set down to Albert Costa 7-6 (9-7).

Rusedski is 13th in the race to qualify for the Hanover tournament and needed a good showing in Paris to give him any realistic chance of qualification.

Even if he is fit and wins the Stockholm Open next week, he may not have enough points to make it into the championships, which are held for the world's top eight players.

Stuttgart hangover

However, Rusedski's chances of qualifying would improve if, as usually happens, some higher ranked players pull out.

Qualification is decided by the best 14 performances from each player over the last 12 months, unlike the ATP rankings which are based on cumulative performances for the year.

A tournament spokesperson said that the British number one had carried the leg injury over from the Eurocard Open in Stuttgart last week.

Pete Sampras also withdrew from the Paris Open with injury on Wednesday.

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