Andy Murray pulls out of Australian Open as fears grow over his playing future
Andy Murray has withdrawn from the Australian Open because of an ongoing hip problem.
The 30-year-old had already pulled out of the Brisbane International event but has now announced he will play no part in the first grand slam of 2018, which starts in Melbourne on January 15.
"Sadly I won't be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete," he said.
"I'll be flying home shortly to assess all the options but I appreciate all the messages of support and I hope to be back playing soon."
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley added: "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.
"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.
"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 has not played a competitive match since Wimbledon last summer.
He released a statement on his social media pages on Tuesday where he admitted he was considering surgery to assess the problem, though his preference is to continue rehab and hope that prompts a recovery.
The text was posted alongside a picture of Murray as a child.
"I chose this pic as the little kid inside me just wants to play tennis and compete," he said.
"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. Every time I wake up from sleeping or napping I hope that it's better and it's quite demoralising when you get on the court (and) it's not at the level you need it to be."
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