FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 3, 2019 Britain’s Andy Murray after practice REUTERS/Hannah McKay
LONDON (Reuters) – Andy Murray has pulled out of next month’s Australian Open because of a pelvic injury, the three-time Grand Slam champion’s management team announced on Saturday.
The former world number one, who has been making an inspirational comeback after hip resurfacing surgery, has decided not to travel to Melbourne after the injury he sustained at the end of the season has not improved as he hoped.
Murray, who has been training on court this week, will miss the Jan. 20-Feb. 2 Grand Slam where he has been a five-time losing finalist and will also not play for Britain in the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia, starting on Jan 3.
His management team said in an email: “It was always going to be a tight turnaround, but the team took the decision not to rush back, so he’ll continue hitting on court and building up fitness in January.”
It was at last year’s Australian Open that Murray was left in tears at a news conference where he told reporters that he was in such pain from a chronic hip injury that it might be his last tournament.
Yet, amazingly, the 32-year-old had looked on course to play in his first Grand Slam singles event since Melbourne after his recovery from major hip surgery 11 months ago had seen him climb back to No. 125 in the world.
After returning to competitive singles play, he even won the European Open in Antwerp, his first triumph for two years.
Yet the Scot has not played since Britain’s opening tie at the Davis Cup finals in Madrid last month when the pelvic injury flared up and he did not travel to Miami for his usual training spell, deciding instead to stay at home to train.
Murray will now not play until February at the earliest, with his first tournament scheduled to be the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.
Reporting by Ian Chadband; Editing by Ken Ferris