Mats Wilander, the world's top-ranked tennis player and winner of three Grand Slam tournaments this year, has withdrawn from the Olympic Games, the Swedish news agency TT reported Tuesday.
"I'm not going to Seoul," TT quoted Wilander as saying from his home in Greenwich, Conn. "It's not worth it. I have a problem with shin splits in my leg and and I'm not going to take a chance."Wilander defeated Ivan Lendl Sunday in five sets to win his first U.S. Open men's singles title. Earlier this year, he won the Australian Open and French Open.
Wilander, who was troubled by periostitis five weeks ago during the ATP Championships in Cincinnati, was advised by his doctor to withdraw from the Olympics, TT said.
"My doctor told me that the injury can get worse if I don't rest," Wilander was quoted as saying.
The 24-year-old Swede said he will rest for more than one month. He is scheduled to play his next Nabisco Grand Prix tournament in Paris in late October and the Stockholm Open in early November. Later this year he will play the Masters in New York and the Davis Cup final against West Germany.
Earlier this year, Wilander said he was not really interested in playing the Olympic tournament, saying "an Olympic gold medal wouldn't be like winning the Davis Cup or a Grand Slam tournament."
Wilander's withdrawal makes fellow Swede Stefan Edberg the big favorite for the men's singles title in Seoul. Edberg, the Wimbledon champion, is ranked third in the world behind Wilander and Lendl. He won the singles title in Los Angeles four years ago, when tennis was an exhibition sport.
Edberg was upset by Aaron Krickstein of the United States after a tough five-set match in the round of 16 at the U.S. Open last week.