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Injured Youzhny withdraws

MELBOURNE, Australia -- A wrist injury forced Russia's Mikhail Youzhny to withdraw from the Australian Open on Saturday, handing Poland's Lukasz Kubot a free ride into the fourth round.

The pair were scheduled to meet in the third round but Youzhny pulled out, saying his wrist was still aching after a marathon five-set match against Richard Gasquet in the opening round.

The Russian, who was seeded 20th for the first Grand Slam of the year, had won his second-round clash with Jan Hajek but said the pain was worsening by the day and he had to pull out to avoid aggravating it.

"I have had treatment every day. I'm going to the doctor every day. I have had some anti-pain pills, I'm doing everything I can but it doesn't help," Youzhny said.

"I cannot play my backhand at all. I can play a little bit with the forehand but there's still a little bit of pain. I understand there's no chance I can play well here and if I continue to play here, I might miss a lot of time," he said.

The immediate beneficiary of Youzhny's withdrawal was Kubot, a 27-year-old making his first appearance at the Australian Open.

He made it to the third round of the U.S. Open in 2006 but this will be the first time he has made the fourth round at any Grand Slam. His next opponent will be Novak Djokovic or Denis Istomin.