Andy Murray announced that he has suffered a setback in the recovery process and thus will not compete in the Australian Open and the ATP Cup.
In an announcement on Saturday evening, the former World Number One said, "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 in Australia in January. After the Australian Open this year, when I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to play again, I was excited about coming back to Australia and giving my best."
"That makes this even more disappointing for me. Unfortunately, I’ve had a setback recently and, as a precaution, need to work through that before I get back on court competing,” Murray said. Murray was widely expected to make a return to the first Grand Slam of the year, completing a dramatic turnaround in fortunes within just a year.
In a press conference last January, Murray said that the pain in his right hip had made him consider retiring from the sport. At the time Murray had said that he had planned to retire around mid-year after Wimbledon but the pain was just too much to handle.
He said, "I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months. I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I'm not certain I can do that. I'm not feeling good, I've been struggling for a long time. I've been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now."
The former world number one returned to professional tennis in August after a successful hip surgery in late January. He first played in the mixed doubles category alongside Serena Williams and the men's double category alongside Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert at the Wimbledon.
But Murray's singles comeback was in the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. He went on to play multiple tournaments to take steps closer to a comeback.
Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley wished Murray luck for the recovery and hoped that he would return to compete in the Grand Slam soon. In a statement, he said, "I know how excited Andy was about coming back to compete in Australia in January, and how disappointed he is not to make it for 2020."
"Andy’s last match at the Australian Open was a five-set roller coaster that none of us who witnessed it will ever forget. His determination and iron will was on display for all to see, and it’s that fighting spirit that has driven him to come back from a potentially career-ending injury to achieve the results he has this year."
The Australian Open will begin on January 20, 2020.