Murray withdraws, Muguruza retires with cramps in Brisbane

Reuters
Andy Murray's long-term hip injury has forced him out of the Brisbane International, casting serious doubts over his participation in the Australian Open later this month.
Reuters
AFP

Britain's Andy Murray hits a return during training for his first round men's singles match at the Brisbane International on Sunday. 

Former world No. 1 Andy Murray’s lingering hip issues forced him to withdraw from the Brisbane International on Tuesday with the Briton admitting he was unsure whether he could recover in time for the Australian Open later this month.

Murray has not played a competitive match since a Wimbledon quarterfinal loss last July due to the complaint and despite coming through a one-set exhibition in Abu Dhabi last week, he was unable to train yesterday and announced his withdrawal.

“I’m very disappointed to be withdrawing from the Brisbane International,” Murray, seeded second in Brisbane, told tournament organizers before going into further detail of his predicament in an emotional post on social media.

“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,” Murray said on his Instagram account.

“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. 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 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.”

The world No. 16 had been due to play his first tournament match of the season on Wednesday with a second-round encounter against American Ryan Harrison at Pat Rafter Arena. He will be replaced by German lucky loser Yannick Hanfmann.

Murray, who said on Sunday that he planned to trim his schedule in 2018 to prevent a recurrence of his injury issues, will remain in Brisbane for the rest of the week before planning his next move.

“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,” the 30-year-old added.

“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.”

Murray’s latest injury setback will also come as a blow to Australian Open organizers ahead of the year’s first major in Melbourne starting on January 15, along with those of fellow “Big Four” members Rafael Nadal (back) and Novak Djokovic (elbow).

Murray’s withdrawal was confirmed hours after Garbine Muguruza, the Wimbledon champion and women’s top seed, retired from her opening match because of leg cramps.

Muguruza fell to the court behind the baseline and had treatment on her legs before retiring from her opening match against Aleksandra Krunic while leading in the third set.

“I don’t really cramp a lot, so I’m actually surprised that today my body was like that,” Muguruza said, adding that her calf muscles started to cramp early in the second set. “It’s a shame because I always come here excited about the first tournament, and this one was bad luck, I guess.” 

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