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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 June, 2004, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Kuerten skips Wimbledon
Gustavo Kuerten
Kuerten reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 1999
Gustavo Kuerten has opted to miss Wimbledon in order to rest a long-term hip injury.

The Brazilian, who recently reached the quarter-finals of the French Open, wants to ensure he is fit for the US hardcourt season and the Olympics.

"My goal now is to be fully recovered and I need at least six weeks of intense work," said Kuerten.

"I am playing at a very high level and I know that after easing the pain I will be among the best players again."

Kuerten underwent surgery on his troublesome right hip in 2002, and has since struggled to rediscover the form that took him to three French Open titles and the coveted world number one ranking.

The 28-year-old claycourt specialist is not at his best on grass, although he did reach the quarter-finals at Wimbledon in 1999.

Other absentees for the men's event include Argentinian Mariano Zabaleta and Paul Henri Mathieu of France, who have knee and wrist injuries respectively.

Jarkko Nieminen is ruled out because of a broken wrist and Moroccan veteran Younes El Aynaoui has withdrawn for an unspecified reason.

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