Montreal, Canada – Two-time grand slam champion Li Na withdrew from the Montreal WTA event starting Monday with a longstanding knee injury which she says will force her to miss the US Open.

Organizers of the major Canadian tournament confirmed the absence of the iconic Chinese sports figure on Thursday, with the world number two explaining: “I wanted to let all of my great fans know that unfortunately I am going to have to withdraw from the upcoming WTA events in Montreal and Cincinnati, as well as the US Open,” said the 2012 Montreal finalist.

“Since March, I have been struggling with my knee and it is just not where I need it to be in order to play at the highest level.

“My medical team has advised me that I need to take some time off to rest my knee so it heals. I look forward to getting back on the court this fall in Wuhan and Beijing (in the autumn).”

The popular player is now in a similar position to Rafael Nadal, who also pulled out from the major US Open tune-ups in Canada and Cincinnati.

His own appearance at the Open is far from guaranteed as he must wear a cast on his wrist for the next few weeks in hope of healing in time for the hardcourt major in New York.

That Li withdrew is good news of a sort for Canada's Wimbledon finalist Eugenie Bouchard, who moves into the fifth seeding in Montreal, her hometown. – Sapa-dpa