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Del Potro withdraws from Indian Wells with knee injury

2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters - Day 5

SHANGHAI, CHINA - OCTOBER 11: Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina returns a shot to Borna Coric of Croatia during the Third Round Men’s Singles match in the 2018 Rolex Shanghai Masters at Qi Zhong Tennis Centre on October 11, 2018 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Kevin Lee/Getty Images)

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Defending champion Juan Martin del Potro has withdrawn from next month’s BNP Paribas Open because of a knee injury.

Del Potro said Wednesday through tournament officials that he’s been advised to rest by his doctors and he hopes to return to action soon. He defeated Roger Federer to win his first Masters 1000 title last year in the Southern California desert.

The fourth-ranked Argentine lost in the quarterfinals of last week’s Delray Beach Open in Florida. It was del Potro’s first tournament since injuring his knee at the Shanghai Masters in October.

Del Potro had already pulled out of this week’s Mexican Open in Acapulco, which he won last year. He also missed the Australian Open in January.

With del Potro’s withdrawal, Taro Daniel of Japan moves into the men’s draw.

The women’s draw already lost two-time winner Maria Sharapova, who withdrew with a shoulder injury.

The tournament runs March 6-17 in Indian Wells.