Former world number 1 Andy Murray will be doubtful for the Australian Open and has admitted that surgery looms as a last resort. It may be the only option that could potentially save his career, as he races to find a fix for his injured hip. A gutted Murray took to Instagram to explain his last-minute withdrawal from the Brisbane International. It would have been an emotional comeback from a six-month injury break.
A number of practice matches and the Brisbane International tournament later, Murray was forced to admit that it was too soon. He realized that he was in no condition to make his long-awaited return to the tennis circuit. Murray’s plan of action will now be to remain in Brisbane in the hope that his hip would improve enough to give him some chance of playing at the Australian Open. If things go south, he will fly back to the UK to explore his next steps to recovery.
Murray said, “I’ve obviously been going through a really difficult period with my hip for a long time and have sought council [sic] from a number of hip specialists. Having been recommended to treat my hip conservatively since the US Open I have done everything asked of me from a rehab perspective and worked extremely hard to try get back on the court competing. Having played practice sets here in Brisbane with some top players unfortunately this hasn’t worked yet to get me to the level I would like so I have to reassess my options. Obviously continuing rehab is one option and giving my hip more time to recover.”
The 30-year old has been out of action for six months already. Sadly for him, there is no immediate path for him to peak level. A form worthy of a former world number one and three-time grand slam winner. He was reserved about the exact nature of his injury but it has not fully responded to rehabilitation. Pulling out of the Brisbane International would have been heart-wrenching but, it is what it is.
Reflecting on the impact the game had on him, he said “I didn’t realise until these last few months just how much I love this game. Every time I wake up from sleeping or napping i [sic] hope that it’s better and it’s quite demoralising when you get on the court it’s not at the level you need it to be to compete at this level. In the short term I’m going to be staying in Australia for the next couple of days to see if my hip settles down a bit and will decide by the weekend whether to stay out here or fly home to assess what I do next.”