Dolgopolov injured in Kooyong exhibition final; Aussie Open in doubt

Alexandr Dolgopolov holds his injured leg after retiring injured during the championship match against Fernando Verdasco during Day 4 of the Priceline Pharmacy Classic at Kooyong.

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Alexandr Dolgopolov retired injured from the Kooyong exhibition tournament in Melbourne on Friday with a right knee injury, handing Spain’s Fernando Verdasco the title and placing the Ukrainian player’s Australian Open appearance in doubt.

Dolgopolov, seeded 21st the Australian Open which begins Monday, lost the opening set 7-6 (3) before calling for medical staff because of the injury, then saying he could not continue.

The Ukrainian is scheduled to play Paolo Lorenzi of Italy in the first round of the Australian Open.

The 26-year-old Dolgopolov said the injury felt the same as he sustained in July playing in Hamburg, Germany, which required surgery and 10 weeks off the tour.

”When I was warming up and playing the first set it was fine and the last few games I started feeling something strange in the knee and it started to get worse,” he said. ”I’m not sure I’ll be playing in the Open because it feels quite the same like I did before the surgery. My physio is saying 99 percent (the) meniscus that I injured before.”

In a final round-robin match at Kooyong, Richard Gasquet of France beat Kei Nishikori of Japan 7-6 (4), 7-6 (6).

Later Friday, Czech Fed Cup teammates Petra Kvitova and Karolina Pliskova were to play in the Sydney International women’s final.