By Ros Satar

  • Andy Murray confirms he will skip the Asian swing tournaments in Beijing and Shanghai
  • Also looks like to miss Vienna and Paris
  • Comeback targeted for Brisbane 2018
LONDON, UK – Andy Murray announced that he looks set to miss the rest of the season to rest his hip, that has hampered him throughout the summer, and caused him to skip the US hard-court swing, including the US Open.

Murray joins Djokovic, Wawrinka & Nishikori on the bench for rest of 2017

British and former World No. 1 Andy Murray confirmed via a statement on his Facebook page that he will skip his last four scheduled tournaments of the season – Beijing, Shanghai, Vienna and Paris – to continue to recover from the hip injury that has plagued him this season.


In a move that probably has surprised no-one, Murray will skip his title defences in Shanghai and Beijing, and also Vienna and Paris, all of which helped to carry him over the line to the World No. 1 spot for the first time in Paris last year.

He finally relinquished the World No. 1 after having to skip the two lead up events in Montreal and Cincinnati and of course missing the last Slam of the year in New York.

He will join an injury list in the World Top 10 that includes Novak Djokovic (elbow), Stan Wawrinka (knee) and Kei Nishikori, who all called time on their 2017 season.

His statement from his Facebook Page in full

Hi everyone…

Just wanted to update you all on my injury and the rest of my season.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to compete in the upcoming events in Beijing and Shanghai, and most likely, the final two events to finish the season in Vienna and Paris due to my hip injury which has been bothering me the last few months.

Having consulted with a number of leading hip specialists over the last week, along with my own team, we have decided that this is the best decision for my long-term future.

Although this has been a frustrating year on court for many reasons, I’m confident after this extended period of rest and rehabilitation that I will be able to reach my best level again and be competing for Grand Slam titles next season.

I will be beginning my 2018 season in Brisbane in preparation for the Australian Open and I’m look forward playing in Glasgow later this year against Roger for UNICEF UK and Sunny-sid3up.

I have a fantastic team working alongside me to help me through this process and appreciate the support from them and all of my fans over this difficult period.

🚴🏃🏋️💪🎾😊👍

 

Murray to start back in Brisbane

A two-time Brisbane champion, Murray is targeting his return in the season opener in Brisbane as it was revealed that his probable return to the tour was part of a long-term partnership with Tennis Australia, including starting his season in Australia for the next three years.

“I need to take some time to rest my body and I look forward to playing the Brisbane International in January,” Murray said in statement released to media on Wednesday.

“Starting the year in Australia sets you up in the best possible way for a strong season and I’m excited to start my next three there. I love coming to Australia and the Brisbane tournament always has a strong field. I’m confident it will help me prepare for the Australian Open,” Murray added.

Brisbane has been a successful starting point for Murray, winning back to back titles in 2012 and 2013 – the years in which he won his first Olympic Gold medal, and his first two Slam titles, and he joins current World No. 1 Rafael Nadal as an early confirmation for the start of the season.

Brisbane International Tournament Director Geoff Quinlan said: “We are delighted Andy, a past champion, has chosen to start 2018 at the Brisbane International. Next year will mark the 10th edition of the tournament and what better way to celebrate by featuring the top two men in the world, we couldn’t be more pleased.”

 

‘Ran out of time’

Perhaps the most positive thing to come out of the announcement is that Murray’s focus is on rest and preparation for the new season, as opposed to needing surgery. This is, of course, not the first time Murray has taken the step of calling time on his season. He took the last four months of 2014 off for a small back surgery, which although was successful, saw Murray struggle for a full year to get back to his best.

The hip issue has been on that has troubled him intermittently throughout his career, and flared up during his semi-final at Roland Garros, having a knock on effect on his grass court preparation ahead of Wimbledon. The issues were still there to see as he practised at Wimbledon often with a limp, and in his quarter-final match, he visibly worsened.

Having not played since Wimbledon, despite trying and failing to get ready in time for the US hard-court swing, he now has four clear months ahead of the season opener in Brisbane.

Talking to the press at the US Open before the tournament started, he said: I certainly wouldn’t have been hurting myself more by trying to play. It was more a question of whether, you know, it would settle down in time.

“Obviously, you know, I kind of ran out of, you know, ran out of time maybe if I’d been able to take a little bit more time off. You know, I have never had to take any time off because of my hip before, so, you know, we’re hoping that by taking a few weeks off and resting and rehabbing and really reducing the load that I was putting through it, that, you know, I would be okay by the time US Open came around, but unfortunately that’s not been the case.

“You know, obviously I spoke to a number of specialists about it to get the best advice possible. Obviously when you speak to a lot, there is different views and opinions on what the best thing to do is moving forward, and that’s a decision I’ll need to take now.”

He continued: “I want to be back on court as soon as I can. If it means that, you know, I can play before the end of the year, then, you know, that’s what I would love to do. I miss competing, and I’ll try to get myself back on court as soon as I can.

“But, you know, obviously, you know, I’ll need to make the correct decision and really think it through these next couple of days with my team, and then, you know, make that decision.”

 

What about the World Tour Finals?

Although in the current Race to London for the Nitto ATP World Tour Finals Murray is lying in ninth place, with Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka out already he effectively is lying in seventh place but once the US Open points have been added to the rest of the field, he will be outside any chance of qualifying with the points he has to date.

He does, however still intend to play the charity exhibition match in Scotland with Roger Federer, due to be held the week before the ATP finals. The drop in points he is unable to defend will put him and the other absentees in an interesting position by the time the Australian Open begins, if they all drop outside the Top 16, making the draw in Melbourne one of the most keenly watched.

Read more about Andy Murray Live, presented by SSE.

The Brisbane International takes place between 31 December 2017 – 7 January 2018

Main Image: Photo by James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock

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