Injured Hamstring Hampers Johansson's Australian Open Hopes
By Tennis Week
Storming through the Adelaide draw to earn his second career tournament title at last week's Next Generation Hard courts event, Joachim Johansson looked like a man completely capable of contending for the Australian Open championship. Now, the 11th-ranked Swede simply hopes to be healthy enough to compete in the year's first major, which begins on Monday.
Johansson hobbled out of the Sydney tournament today with a right hamstring injury that could threaten his chances of playing the Australian Open. The towering Swede with the searing serve was trailing Belarus' Max Mirnyi, 4-1, when he retired from the second-round match of the Medibank International with the hamstring strain.
The 2004 U.S. Open semifinalist said he initially sustained the injury in his straight-sets victory over Greg Rusedski on Monday and was incapable of completing today's match with Mirnyi.
"I tried to go out there for a few games but I felt I couldn't give 100 percent, and at this level there's no way you can win," Johansson said. "If it had felt good I would have kept playing but obviously it doesn't so that's why I stopped."
Johansson told the media he plans to fly to Melbourne tonight to receive treatment from a specialist in an effort to compete in the Australian Open though he is unsure if he will be healthy enough to play.
"It's too early to say," Johansson said. "At the moment it doesn't feel great but hopefully I'll be back practicing at the end of this week."
The man who grew up in Sodertalje, Sweden — the same town that produced 11-time Grand Slam champion Bjorn Borg — has emerged as the top Swedish threat to win a major since Thomas Johansson won the 2002 Australian Open. Johansson, who dates Lleyton Hewitt's sister, Jaslyn, enjoys strong fan support in Australia where he's been embraced for his explosive game and good-natured personality.