Andy Murray out of Australian Open with injury

2018-01-04 07:19:09 GMT2018-01-04 15:19:09(Beijing Time) Sina English

Andy Murray has given up on his Australian Open dream and is heading home, having admitted that his problematic right hip is still in no state to play top-level tennis.

Murray left Brisbane Airport at noon today and was due to catch an onward flight in Melbourne. His withdrawal means that his absence from the tour – which dates back to his Wimbledon exit on July 12 – will now extend past the six-month mark.

“Sadly I won’t be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete,” Murray said.

“I’ll be flying home shortly to assess all the options but I appreciate all the messages of support and I hope to be back playing soon.”

It was an abrupt end to Murray’s latest comeback attempt, which began on Wednesday, December 27, when he flew to Abu Dhabi.

At the beginning of this week, he was confidently forecasting that he would take his place in the Brisbane International – the tournament he has been working towards for months. But a practice set against Milos Raonic was the only tennis he played at the Queensland Tennis Centre, and he announced on Tuesday that he would not appear on the match court after all.

Murray is understood to have made a last-minute decision to get out of Australia today, rather than waiting until tomorrow as he had originally planned. He is clearly in a low state of mind, as he explained in his Instagram post on Tuesday, and it is understandable that he wanted to get back to his family as soon as possible.

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley had some kind words for Murray.

“We are fully aware that Andy has been going through a difficult period with his hip and that he’s done everything possible to prepare for the Australian summer,” Tiley said.

“Personally, I also know that Andy loves tennis and would do anything to play. This is a very hard decision for Andy and we totally respect it.

“We wish him the absolute best on his road to recovery and look forward to having him back in Melbourne. He is a true champion and one of our favourites.”

Once at home, Murray will have to address a difficult question: does he go to the next stage, which would involve keyhole surgery? And if so, which surgeon does he engage?

He has already acknowledged, in Tuesday’s post, that “the chances of a successful outcome [from surgery] are not as I high as I would like”. But he also said that he would “give anything” to fix this issue and get himself back playing on the circuit. An operation would come with risks, and could end his career. But it might also revitalise it.(Agencies)

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