Former world number one Andy Murray has withdrawn from the 2018 Australian Open due to injury, it was confirmed on Thursday.
The Scot was been plagued with a hip injury throughout 2017 and has not played since his Wimbledon exit on 12 July. Despite rehabilitation and visiting the world’s leading hip experts, Murray declared himself unfit to compete at 2018’s opening grand slam.
“Sadly I won’t be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete,” said the three-time grand slam winner.
“I’ll be flying home shortly to assess all the options.”
Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley offered Murray – who has slipped to 16th in the ATP rankings – his support in this trying time.
“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,” said Tiley.
“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.
Murray: “Sadly I won’t be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete. I’ll be flying home shortly to assess all the options.”
— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 4, 2018
“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.”
Murray may not be the only high-profile casualty for the Australian Open, as six-time winner Novak Djokovic has not had a smooth comeback from his elbow issue while Japanese superstar Kei Nishikori is still nursing a wrist injury.