Andy Murray withdraws from Brisbane International amid Australian Open fears

Britain's Andy Murray. Pic Getty Images
Britain's Andy Murray. Pic Getty Images
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03 January, 2018

Former world number one Andy Murray said Sunday he was desperate to get back into competitive tennis after a five-month absence due to a debilitating hip injury.

The 30-year-old Murray has not played since his Wimbledon quarter-final defeat by Sam Querrey but is scheduled to play either Ryan Harrison or Leonardo Mayer after receiving a first-round bye in Australia.

The three-time grand slam champion and Brisbane's second seed confirmed his withdrawal after failing to train on Tuesday.

The Scot did not comment on his chances of being fit to try again at the Australian Open, but it's understood he will travel to Melbourne and persevere in coming days.

"I don't feel like there's many miles in my legs, which, you know, was certainly the case at the beginning of 2017, where most days I was quite sore kind of all over", he said.

"But I think I'm going to evaluate what options do I have now. maybe just go right away to Melbourne".

He is among a number of top players to be in doubt for the Australian Open, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic also withdrawing from their warm-up events.

"I came here with every intention of making a strong start to the year, but sadly my team and I don't feel that I'm where I need to be just yet to compete at the highest level, " Murray said.

Murray was looking forward to kicking off the 2018 season at the Brisbane International after being on the sidelines for six months owing to the hip injury.

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I'm very disappointed to be withdrawing from the Brisbane International.

Even though surgery has been his secondary option all along, the former World No. 1 can not rule it out totally and would soon have to take a call.

Andy Murray practises ahead of the Brisbane InternationalWhat's the story?

The tough Scot incurred the wrath of some tennis fans past year by withdrawing after the draw had been done for the US Open, which fell in such a way that Nadal and Roger Federer could not meet in a final there for the first time.

Nadal pulled out of the Brisbane event and a Sydney exhibition, while Djokovic withdrew from an Abu Dhabi event.

"It's always a challenge when you lose players of that calibre from your field, " Pearson said.

"When that's taken away from you, you realise how important it is".

Meanwhile, leg cramps have left Garbine Muguruza's own Australian Open plans up in the air after the two-time grand slam champion was forced to retire from her Brisbane International second-round clash on Tuesday.


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