Andy Murray a major doubt for Australian Open amid surgery fears

Andy Murray is still being troubled by a hip injury. Picture: John Devlin
Andy Murray is still being troubled by a hip injury. Picture: John Devlin
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Andy Murray is considering an operation on his hip as he seeks to mend a long-running problem that is now threatening to seriously impact on his career.

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The Scot’s participation in the Australian Open later this month is in doubt after he pulled out of the Brisbane International yesterday.

Murray, in a long post on Instagram and Facebook, admitted he has been going through “a really difficult period with my hip”. He will decide before this weekend whether to try to take part in the first grand slam of the year, which begins a week on Monday, or return to Britain. He flew to Australia on Saturday after a stop-off in Abu Dhabi, where he played an exhibition match.

“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,” he explained yesterday.

He added that he has sought counsel “from a number of hip specialists” and had been following instructions to treat the injury “conservatively” since the US Open, when he abandoned plans to compete shortly before the tournament started. But he now admits he might be forced into a more extreme course of action.

“Obviously continuing rehab is one option and giving my hip more time to recover,” he said. “Surgery is also an option but the chances of a successful outcome are not as I high as I would like which has made this my secondary option and my hope has been to avoid that. However this is something I may have to consider but let’s hope not.”

The 30-year-old has dropped to 16th in the world having not played a competitive match since July, when he lost in five sets at Wimbledon to Sam Querrey. He played an exhibition set in Abu Dhabi on Friday against Roberto Bautista Agut, and also took on Roger Federer in a charity match at the Hydro in Glasgow in November.

Murray added: “The little kid inside me just wants to play tennis and compete. I genuinely miss it so much and I would give anything to be back out there.

“I didn’t realise until these last few months just how much I love this game. Everytime I wake up from sleeping or napping I 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.”

Novak Djokovic, a six-time winner of the Australian Open, said on social media: “Andy, thank you for genuinely sharing your thoughts and emotions with everyone.

“I can imagine how bad it feels. We all send you support and strength to get through these tough circumstances.”

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