Murray out of Australian Open
ANDY Murray has scrapped plans to play the Australian Open as he confronts the most testing time of a career imperilled by a chronic hip injury.
Murray had planned to go to Melbourne late this week to practice again, but conceded defeat in his brave bid this afternoon.
The Scot will fall from No.16 to outside the top 20 in the rankings when his Australian Open fourth-round points from 2017 falls off his 52-week rolling points tally next month.
Murray withdrew from the Brisbane International on Tuesday, saying he had been unable to practice at a high level against tour players this week.
The dual Wimbledon champion said on Tuesday he may have to reluctantly have hip surgery, which he was trying to avoid.
Murray has not played since Wimbledon in July, opting for rest and rehabilitation as a remedy for his hip, being unsure of the success rate of hip surgeries.
"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."
The three-time grand slam title winner's absence will be felt at the Australian Open, as he has made the second week of a major in the past 26 times he has played one, a sequence remarkably stretching back to the 2010 US Open. He was a third-round loser at that event.
Murray's countrywoman Johanna Konta, the world No. 8, quit her Brisbane International quarter-final on Thursday, also with a hip injury.
Konta said she would wait until Friday before deciding if she was fit to defend her Sydney International title next week.
The injury toll mounted at the Brisbane International when Konta retired hurt from a close encounter with third-seeded Ukraininan Elina Svitolina.
A right hip injury then forced the British world No. 9 to concede with Svitolina leading the third set on serve to claim the match 1-6, 7-6 (8-6), 3-2.
Konta said she did not want to estimate when she would be able to play again until she sought medical advice.