In Depth

Andy Murray: is this the end for Britain’s best ever tennis player?

Former world No. 1 pulls out of the Australian Open because of injury

British tennis star Andy Murray has confirmed he has withdrawn from this month’s Australian Open because of his ongoing hip issues.

The 30-year-old earlier this week pulled out of the Brisbane International and was weighing up his options of competing in Melbourne. But today Murray has revealed he will be flying back to the UK and will miss the first grand slam of the season.

Murray, who has not played competitive tennis since Wimbledon last year, was quoted by the BBC saying: “Sadly I won’t be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete. I appreciate all the messages of support and I hope to be back playing soon.” 

In an emotional social media post earlier this week, Murray revealed that his ongoing hip problems meant that he may need surgery to save and prolong his career. He said that while surgery “is an option” the chances of a “successful outcome are not as high as I would like” and is hoping to avoid going under the knife.

“But this time feels different. This time that unrelenting battle between hope and despair is giving way to a sense of profound sadness along with the reluctant acceptance that Murray may well have to suffer the ultimate cruelty and grotesque injustice of being rendered lame just when he ought to be in his prime.” 

The Herald’s Kevin Ferrie admits that even though Murray “has already achieved more in his life than most would ever dare dream of”, he has been “deeply touched” and “ridiculously emotional” every time he has read Murray’s Instagram post. 

“I do not know Murray or his family any better than the vast majority of those reading this, but I suspect I am not alone among Scots in having felt an additional, almost personal connection to his career down the years,” Ferrie writes.

“The hope for 2018 is, then, that he makes it all the way back to his best, but either way we can all continue to draw inspiration from the boy from Dunblane.”

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