French tennis player Gael Monfils has withdrawn from the Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo. The Frenchman continues to recover from a Knee Injury. The 31-year-old last played at the US Open, where he didn't finish his third-round match against Belgium's ace David Goffin.

Monfils was set to make his fifth-ever appearance in Tokyo. Monfils was also set to play for the second time in back-to-back years at the Japanese event. He debuted in Tokyo in 2009 and made a comeback to the event in 2010, 2013 and 2016.

Monfils has tasted success in Tokyo so far in his career.

Though world No. 36 has yet to win a title there, he was close to making it all the way a couple of times. The 31-year-old's best attempt in Tokyo came in 2010 when he lost in the final to Spaniard Rafa Nadal.

Monfils had good campaigns in Tokyo in 2009 and 2016. The 31-year-old had his runs concluded in the last-four stage. Fellow compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Australian rising star Nick Kyrgios were just too much for Monfils on both occasions. Monfils made the semi-finals a year ago without a set dropped but then lost in straight sets to Kyrgios.

The 2013 Rakuten Japan Open Tennis Championships edition was the only time Monfils failed to put up notable week. Back then, the Frenchman lost in round one.

However, he was drawn to meet former Wimbledon semifinalist Tsonga in his opener.

Rublev in

The withdrawal of Monfils has given promising Andrej Rublev the chance to play at the Rakuten Open next week. The 19-year-old needed one withdrawal to make the main draw. Should he decide to play in Tokyo, he would make his debut appearance at the event.

Rublev is currently in China, where he's featured in the Chengdu Open. The Russian has progressed to the last-16 at the Chinese event. His next opponent is set to be Yen-Hsun Lu, 34.

Rublev has enjoyed a good summer. The 19-year-old won his maiden ATP title in Umag before he lost in the US Open quarter-finals to eventual champion Nadal.

He is also sitting at No. 37 in the world -- his career-high ranking. It remains to be seen will the young prospect appear in Tokyo next week.

Monfils' bad luck

Monfils' injury-plagued 2017 season continues as pulling out of Tokyo is not his first withdrawal of the year. Monfils has already been forced to withdraw from some events earlier this season. However, he could still line up at Masters 1000 events in Shanghai and Paris, if he gets healthy and ready by then.

Monfils hasn't won a title this year. A not so great season has resulted in him falling to No. 36 in the world. It's a shame seeing that happening to Monfils, who had a career-best year in 2016. A potential good run in Shanghai or Paris could help the Frenchman feel a little bit better about his season.