Agassi pulls out of RCA Championships

July 16, 2005 08:58 AM
Andre Agassi hits a forehand during his straight-sets win over Julien Benneteau of France during day 4 of the Mercedes-Benz Cup.© Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Andre Agassi withdrew Friday from next week's RCA Championships because of a nagging back injury.

The eight-time Grand Slam champion skipped Wimbledon earlier this month for the second straight year because of an inflamed nerve in his lower back that he has had treated with a series of cortisone injections.

The sixth-ranked player in the world, Agassi had accepted a wild-card invitation to play at the RCA Championships, which begins Monday, but he said Friday that he was taking longer than expected to recover after his most recent injection and would not play.

Agassi, 35, said he plans to have another injection next week and hopes to be ready to rejoin the tour later this month at Los Angeles and then play in the US Open in August. He said he then would "size things up'' at the end of the year.

"I will exhaust every effort, you can be sure of that,'' Agassi said. "This is something that I love doing, but as I get older it comes with more of a price, for not just me but for my family and all those who make this possible for me.''

Hampered by the back injury, he lost in the first round at the French Open in May.