World no.16 and former world no.1 Andy Murray has withdrawn from the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam that starts January 15.

The British no.1 is the second big name – after Nishikori pulling out of the Australian Open as well – amongst many doubtful participants at the Australian Open to fall. Novak Djokovic (elbow) and Stan Wawrinka (knee) are some of the other big guns who are surrounded by a fog of uncertainty regarding their fitness.

Just a week ago Murray elaborated in a sincere and heartfelt social media post on why he had decided not to play the warm-up tournament Brisbane at late notice. He emphasized that surgery was the secondary option as a successful procedure was not guaranteed and that rehab and patience was the way to go.

His message only sparked rumors that were already circling the three time Grand Slam champion whether he would be fit and ready to go for the first major Down Under.

Hey everyone.. Just wanted to write a little message on here for anyone interested in what in going through right now. Firstly I want to apologise to @brisbanetennis for withdrawing at late notice and to everyone who wanted to come along to watch me play(or lose?) The organisers couldn't have been more understanding and supportive and I'll always remember that. Thank you. 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. 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. I choose this pic as 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. 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 ??❤️

A post shared by Andy Murray (@andymurray) on

Now, it seems, the 30-year old Scot has taken the tough decision to focus all his efforts on his troublesome hip that saw him limping off the court after his quarter-final loss to Querrey at Wimbledon last year.

He hasn’t played a competitive match since then and even pulled out two days prior to the start of the US Open when the draw had already been released.

Murray’s last two matches in front of the public eye were both exhibitions against Roger Federer in Scotland last November and Roberto Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi last week. He would lose both of them comprehensively as especially his footspeed seemed to suffer from the inury he had sustained last summer.

Murray deep in thought during his exhibition match with Agut in Abu Dhabi

Signs look to be ominous Andy Murray may still have to take the dreadful decision to undergo hip surgery if he ever wants to get back to the top of men’s tennis. Being an incredible five time-time runner-up in Australia, Murray will have to wait at least one year to have another chance of lifting the coveted Norman Brookes Challenge Cup.

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