The Chennai Open on Wednesday lost some of its sheen with top seed and tournament favourite Nikolay Davydenko of Russia pulling out of the ATP event due to a heel injury on his left foot.
The world number five also ruled himself out of the Australian Open -- the first Grand Slam of the year -- beginning from January 19, saying he would be able to recover in time.
Davydenko's exit sends Czech Republic's Lukas Dlouhy, with whom he was scheduled to play his second round match, through to the quarter-finals.
"It is my left heel. It started last year and it did not bother me too much. Since there was not much pain I carried on. I was having the same problem in Shanghai but I played," Davydenko said.
"But now I am having real pain and I cannot do anything. I cannot run and I cannot play tennis. That is why I decided to check my heel with the tournament doctor here. I will go back home and check what is happening," he said.
"I have no chance of coming to Australian Open also. Therefore, I decided to pull out of first Grand Slam," he said at a press conference.
Davydenko said it was wise to skip Australian Open rather than leaving it mid-way.
"I think I cannot recover. I do not know what will happen there. I can play first match like here and then retire in the second match. I have no reason to do like this.
"I will try now and may be I can recover faster, I can play tournaments after Australian Open. Maybe, I will start my tournaments from Rotterdam and Dubai and be fit physically," he said.
Davydenko revealed that he was feeling pain even during his match against world number one Rafael Nadal last week.
"I was feeling the pain even during the Abu Dhabi tournament. I had pain but I needed to play because it was an exhibition match against Nadal."
The Russian said he could play his opener against Daniel Koellerer on Tuesday only after consuming pain killers.
"They (the doctors) have been trying their best for the last three days. They tried some therapy and putting ice and gave some pain killers. I was also playing my first match after taking pain killers. I had pain killers today also but it does not help."
Davydenko though refused to blame a long Tour for sustaining the injury.
"Some guys say it is long but some say it is short. ATP is clear that if you want to play, you enter tournaments. A player decide as to how many tournaments and four Grand Slams that he wants to play.
"That is it. If I am physically fit without injury, why not I play in 20 tournaments in a year," he said.