PETALING JAYA: Denmark's world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen has withdrawn from the men's singles competition in the China Masters which gets underway on Tuesday (Nov 21) in Shenzhen.
Axelsen had captured the Japan Masters title on Sunday (Nov 19).
"Unfortunately, I won't be participating in the China Masters this week," said Axelsen via social media.
"Would have loved to play but my foot is simply not ready to play consecutive weeks with many hard matches. I will take a few days to recover and get healthy before I jump on the court again.
"A shame, as I love to play in China but I will come back for the World Tour Finals (Dec 13-17 in Hangzhou)," added Axelsen.
The Dane's absence has thrown the competition wide open with the likes of homesters Shi Yuqi, Li Shifeng, Indonesia's world No. 4 Jonatan Christie and Japan's world No. 5 Kodai Naraoka likely among those who will be vying for the title.
Malaysia's hopes will be on world No. 11 Lee Zii Jia and world No. 15 Ng Tze Yong but only one can progress to the second round after both were drawn to face each other in the opening match.