John McEnroe, the world's No. 1 player, will miss the Australian Open because of an injury to his left wrist, but will be able to play for the United States in the Davis Cup final next month in Sweden. McEnroe was ordered to take a two-week break after being injured in practice in California two days ago, according to Dr. Omar Fareed of the U.S. Tennis Association's sports medicine committee . . .

In Sydney, Pam Shriver said she will take an extended break from the women's tour; this after she lost, 5-7, 7-6, 6-4, to Marcella Mesker in the third round of the $150,000 New South Wales Open.

"If I had to face the prospect of playing like this, I'd get out altogether," Shriver said after losing to Mesker, ranked 64th in the world to Shriver's No. 3.

A Women's Tennis Association officer confirmed that Shriver had withdrawn from three tournaments early next year so as to have at least three months free from tennis.

Shriver said she will reevaluate her career and her association with long-time coach Don Candy during the break.

"It will be heaven to get away," she said. "At the moment, I have a horrendously negative attitude. I've just had too much . . . I'm not winning any of my close matches and it's definitely the halftime point as far as my tennis career is concerned.

"The first half is over. I've gone through the stage of being an up-and-comer and then establishing myself in the top 10. Now it's time to regroup."