Safin, Nadal out of Australian Open

Defending champion &to=' target=_blank>Marat Safin and French Open winner Rafael Nadal are out of the Australian Open, joining Andre Agassi on the sidelines for the first Grand Slam of the year.

Australian Open spokesman John Lindsay said on Wednesday the tournament was officially told of Nadal's withdrawal late Tuesday night, and word from Safin was expected sometime Wednesday, although the Russian announced his pullout on his Web site.

"Safin was always a longshot," said Lindsay. "Paul McNamee (tournament chief executive) wasn't hopeful once Marat pulled out of the Hopman Cup," last week.

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