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Andy Murray posts emotional message on Instagram, talks about considering surgery

Andy Murray is in serious doubt for the Australian Open.

FEATURED COLUMNIST
News 02 Jan 2018, 20:24 IST
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2017 Brisbane International - Day 1: Preview Day
Andy Murray practises ahead of the Brisbane International

What’s the story?

Former World No. 1 Andy Murray took to Instagram to bare his heart to his fans as he battles hard to overcome his persistent hip injury. Hours after pulling out of the Brisbane International on Tuesday, the World No. 16 wrote an emotional post, explaining what prompted him to take this step and even hinted at the possibility of surgery if the rehab does not work out well.

In case you didn’t know

Murray was looking forward to kicking off the 2018 season at the Brisbane International after being on the sidelines for six months owing to the hip injury. His last competitive match was at the Wimbledon Championships in July, where he succumbed to a five-set defeat to Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals.

But shortly before his opener on Tuesday, the Scot announced his withdrawal, which casts serious doubts over his participation at the Australian Open, where he has been a five-time runner-up.

The heart of the matter

After apologizing to fans for the last-minute withdrawal, Murray revealed that he has been playing practice sets in Brisbane to gauge his fitness. Unfortunately, he still doesn't feel confident about reaching the level he would have liked.

Murray then talked at length about his recovery from the stubborn hip injury that has bothered him for the last six months. On the advice of top hip specialists, the 30-year-old chose to rehab since the US Open in a bid to get back to playing conditions.

His body, however, has failed to respond to rehab, leaving the Scot in a quandary as to whether to give himself more time and continue it or to opt for surgery. The latter is not guaranteed of giving a favourable outcome, which is why the two-time Wimbledon champion has leaned towards the former.

Even though surgery has been his secondary option all along, the former World No. 1 cannot rule it out totally and would soon have to take a call.

"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 wrote.

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

What’s next?

The three-time Grand Slam champion will be staying in Australia for the next couple of days and decide by the weekend whether he can play at the season’s first Major or has to go back home for further treatment.

Author’s take

Should Andy Murray miss the Australian Open, it will be highly disappointing for he has consistently performed well in the season’s opening Major. But a player’s health is of paramount importance. Playing at a Slam should not come at the expense of his fitness and he should do everything possible to be injury-free once again.

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