9 Jan 2015

Isner, Monfils to miss Auckland

2:16 pm on 9 January 2015

Next week's Heineken Open men's tennis tournament in Auckland has lost some of its star power with two major withdrawals, just days out from the start of the tournament.

John Isner

John Isner Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Last year's champion John Isner has pulled out, citing exhaustion after playing in the Hopman Cup exhibition event in Perth and the big American will instead travel straight to Melbourne for the Australian Open.

French showman Gael Monfils will also miss the tournament, withdrawing for personal reasons and the tournament director Karl Budge says it's unclear whether he will play in Melbourne.

It's the second straight year the world number 20 has pulled out of the event at late notice.

Budge says he's most disappointed by Isner's no-show as he's pulled out of an ATP event after playing a lucrative exhibition this week with no ranking points on offer.

The world number 37, another American, Steve Johnson, will now be elevated to seventh seed, while last year's finalist Yen Hsun Lu is the eighth seed.