Bengaluru, December 29: Andy Murray will miss the Australian Open as a precautionary measure after suffering an injury setback.
The former world number one, who has been making an inspirational comeback after hip resurfacing surgery, has decided not to travel to Melbourne after the injury he sustained at the end of the season failed to improve as he had hoped.
Murray, who has been able to train on court this week, will miss the January 20 to February 2 Grand Slam where he has been a five-time losing finalist and will also not play for Britain in the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia, starting on January 3.
We're sad to report that five-time finalist @andy_murray will not be playing in Australia in 2020 - can't wait to see you back here in 2021, Andy!— #AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) December 28, 2019
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"Unfortunately, I've had a setback and as a precaution need to work through that before competing," Murray was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"I've worked so hard to get myself into a situation where I can play at the top level and I'm gutted I'm not going to be able to play."
His management team said in an email: "It was always going to be a tight turnaround, but the team took the decision not to rush back, so he'll continue hitting on court and building up fitness in January."
It was at last year's Australian Open that Murray was left in tears at a press conference where he told reporters that he was in such pain from a chronic hip injury that it might be his last tournament.
Yet, amazingly, the 32-year-old had looked on course to play in his first Grand Slam singles event since Melbourne after his recovery from major hip surgery 11 months ago had seen him climb back to No. 125 in the world.
As per the latest reports, Murray will not play until February at the earliest, with his first tournament scheduled to be the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.
(With inputs from Agencies)