World number 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has pulled out of this month’s Australian Open with an arm injury.
The Frenchman, 29, has been struggling with the injury for over a month and missed the defence of his Hopman Cup title this week.
“I am still suffering from a forearm inflammation that prevents me being 100% in a competition,” said Tsonga.
Britain’s James Ward’s improved ranking means he could receive a late call-up to the Australian Open main draw.
The British number two, 27, moved up six places to a career-high 101 in the latest ATP world rankings and is now just one ranking point outside the top 100.
He is set to contest qualifying at Melbourne Park for the first Grand Slam of the year which starts on 19 January, but is well placed to enter the main draw if players withdraw through injury.
Tsonga reached the final of the 2008 Australian Open, losing to Novak Djokovic and is twice a Wimbledon semi-finalist.
He described the setback as a “big disappointment”, adding in a statement: “I’m going to receive over three weeks all the needed treatments to be able to be back on track in the best conditions.”
Meanwhile, US Open champion Marin Cilic is a doubt for the Australian Open because of a right shoulder injury.
The world number nine said: “Considering the full recovery and opportunity for practice, it is highly questionable if I will be able to play.”