By Ros Satar
- Andy Murray withdraws from the Australian Open – misses second Slam in a row due to right hip injury
- Johanna Konta forced to retire in Brisbane quarter-final, also due to a right hip concern
BRISBANE/MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Right hips are claiming British players left and right, as Andy Murray withdraws from the Australian Open, and Johanna Konta retires in the Brisbane quarter-final.
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Murray out of the Australian Open
Days after pulling out of the Brisbane International, Andy Murray confirmed that he would not be competing at the first Slam of the year in Melbourne.
This is the second Slam in a row that Murray has had to withdraw from, having pulled out of the US Open days before it started.
In a statement from Tennis Australia, Murray said: “Sadly I won’t be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete. 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.”
After his withdrawal from Brisbane, Murray posted an emotional message on Instagram indicating just how desperate he is to return to the court, where he also hinted that maybe surgery now was an option he would have to consider.
Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley said:
“We are fully aware that Andy has been going through a difficult period with his hip and that he’s done everything possible to prepare for the Australian summer.
“Personally, I also know that Andy loves tennis and would do anything to play. This is a very hard decision for Andy and we totally respect it.
“We wish him the absolute best on his road to recovery and look forward to having him back in Melbourne. He is a true champion and one of our favourites.”
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Konta also suffers right hip injury
As if to compound the issues with hips at the moment in the British camp, Johanna Konta had to retire in the Brisbane quarter-final against No. 3 seed Elina Svitolina. She had started confidently against the Ukrainian, breaking twice at the start of the first set and again to take the first set.
It was a pleasing start for Konta, who had been slow off the mark in her first two sets, but in a far more competitive set with only one break point chance for Svitolina, she gathered momentum in the tie-break to level the match.
The third set had also looked competitive, but after three games Konta called the trainer out, and opted to retire five games into the third set.
As reported by WTATennis.com, Konta said, after the match: “I don’t feel too comfortable saying really too much because, actually, I don’t know yet until tomorrow morning,” the former Wimbledon semifinalist said after the match. “But hopefully it’s nothing more than a low-grade strain and more muscle spasm more than anything.
Konta is scheduled to defend her title in Sydney, which starts next week, and the Australian Open begins on 15 January.
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