Hip problem forces Murray out of Aussie Open
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP):
Andy Murray needed only a couple of days in Australia to realise the hip problem that has kept him out of competitive tennis since Wimbledon was not going to improve in time for the season's first major.
The five-time finalist withdrew from the Australian Open yesterday, two days after pulling out of a tune-up event in Brisbane before his first match.
Confirmation of his absence came hours after Kei Nishikori announced that he, also, wouldn't have enough time to fully recover from a torn wrist tendon before the Australian Open starts January 15 in Melbourne.
Murray was preparing to leave Australia at the same time as injured former champions Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were on the way to Melbourne.
"Sadly, I won't be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete," Murray said in a statement. "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."
Former No. 1-ranked Murray, a three-time major winner, has not played a competitive match since a quarter-final exit at Wimbledon last July.
In a heartfelt social media post earlier in the week, the 30-year-old Murray contemplated surgery as an option after failing to overcome the pain with rest and rehabilitation.
Murray spent 41 weeks at No. 1 in the rankings until last August, but slipped to a year-end No. 16 because of his prolonged absence from the tour.