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Nicolas Almagro has been forced to pull out of next week’s Australian Open due to a shoulder injury.

The Spaniard has been in a race against time to be fit ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the season at Melbourne Park which begins on Monday.

The world number 13 reached the quarter-finals in the event for the first time in his career 12 months ago. That is the furthest he has been in a Slam outside of the French Open where the red clay is his favourite surface.

He actually led David Ferrer 2-0 in the last eight encounter in 2013 but then lost three consecutive sets to miss out on the semi-finals.

Almagro’s Spanish compatriot Rafael Nadal has been handed the number one seed in the event for 2014. He is looking to win this title for the second time in his career after success in 2009.

The world number one was forced to skip this event last year through injury himself, but after success in the Qatar Open at the weekend, he goes into the tournament this time fully fit and in good form.

Defending champion Novak Djokovic is bidding for his fourth straight victory in the Australian Open and his fifth title in the Melbourne showpiece. He is currently one of the favourites with

He is now coached by Boris Becker after the pair agreed a deal at the back end of 2013.

Andy Murray, a popular figure with people who bet with bet365, brings up the fourth seed in the event in which he has reached the final in on three occasions. He is making his return from a back injury which ruled him out of the ATP Tour Finals in London in November.

He has now recovered from the surgery he underwent and recently played two games in the Qatar Open where he was beaten by Florian Mayer.
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