Andy Murray has opened up about his struggle with a continuing hip injury that has forced him out of action for the last six months, and ruled him out of the Brisbane International this week.
The British three-time Grand Slam champion, who was ranked No. 1 in the world as recently as last August, admits that surgery is an option, but he is yet to decide if he will go for it.
Hey everyone.. Just wanted to write a little message on here for anyone interested in what I’m going through right now.
“I’ve obviously been going through a really difficult period with my hip for a long time and have sought council 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,” Murray wrote on his Instagram account, in a message that accompanied a photo of him as a child.
“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. 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.”
Murray flew to Abu Dhabi last Thursday to practice on the courts of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship and test himself before flying to Brisbane. He played an exhibition set against Roberto Bautista Agut on Friday (lost 6-2), then went to Australia hoping to kick-off his 2018 campaign.
“I choose this pic as the little kid inside me just wants to play tennis and Compete,” Murray said of the photo he posted with the message.
“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 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.
“Sorry for the long post but I wanted to keep everyone in the loop and get this off my chest as it’s really hurting inside.
“Hope to see you back on the court soon 🎾😢❤️”
Murray is just one of several players struggling with injury woes. Novak Djokovic has been out of action since Wimbledon and was seen wearing a bandage around his troubled elbow in Dubai two days ago. Kei Nishikori withdrew from next week’s tournament in Sydney with an ongoing wrist issue while Stan Wawrinka hasn’t played since Wimbledon and withdrew from Abu Dhabi as he continues to recover from double knee surgery.
Wimbledon champion Muguruza was ahead 2-1 in the deciding set against Serbia’s Aleksandra Krunic in the second round of the warm-up tournament for the season’s first Grand Slam event when she collapsed to the ground following a serve.
The Spanish top seed was unable to continue and handed the match to Krunic 5-7, 7-6 (3), 2-1.
“I felt in trouble in the second set when I was 2-0 up,” Muguruza said. “I started to feel my calves were cramping.”
Muguruza had won a tight first set and appeared heading for a straight sets win over Krunic when she opened up a 5-2 lead in the second.
However, she began to struggle in the 30°C heat and oppressive humidity as Krunic fought back to win the second set on a tiebreak.
Muguruza received treatment from the physio on court before the start of the decider and broke Krunic only to collapse while serving to consolidate the service break.
“I continued to think that with the match they might go away, and then they were increasing, increasing. And then I had a lot of my body cramping,” Muguruza said.
The loss ends any hope Muguruza had of leapfrogging Simona Halep and becoming world number one before the seedings are decided for Australian Open, which begins on January 15.
But Muguruza was not too downhearted by having to withdraw.
“I’m pleased because we were playing very good points and, you know, good rallies,” she said. “I felt it was a good level, a good match, but I wanted to finish to see, to evaluate how the match was, but I’m happy with the way I was playing.”
— #BrisbaneTennis (@BrisbaneTennis) January 2, 2018
Krunic will now play either Sorana Cirstea or Anastasija Sevastova in the quarter-finals.
Last year’s runner-up Alize Cornet eased into the final eight with a straight sets win over Croatia’s Mirjana Lucic-Baroni.
Cornet, who won her first round match when fourth seed Caroline Garcia retired injured, was too consistent for Lucic-Baroni, winning 6-1, 7-5.
In the men’s draw, 21-year-old South Korean Chung Hyeon stunned fifth seed Gilles Muller from Luxembourg 6-3, 7-6 (1) while US qualifier Michael Mmoh upset Argentine Federico Delbonis 6-3, 6-4.
Murray suffered a right hip injury in 2017 and has not played on the ATP tour since losing a tough five-setter to American Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals at Wimbledon.
He said on Sunday he felt in great shape at the start of the new season and said he was confident he would play in Brisbane.
However, on Tuesday he announced he had withdrawn from the tournament.
Murray joins top seed and world number one Rafael Nadal, who withdrew from the tournament late last week, on the sidelines.
Andy Murray has unfortunately had to withdraw from the Brisbane International due to a right hip complaint pic.twitter.com/trjo0Vovym
— #BrisbaneTennis (@BrisbaneTennis) January 2, 2018
“I’m very disappointed. 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 was quoted as saying by the tournament’s official Twitter account.