Injured Murray opts to rest before New Year return
Andy Murray has decided not to have surgery on the hip injury which has troubled him for the last three months and is hoping instead that rest and rehabilitation will help him recover full fitness in time for the start of the 2018 season.
Although the World No.2 has not entirely ruled out a return to competition before the end of this year, he has pulled out of his scheduled tournaments next month in Beijing and Shanghai.
Murray said that he was also likely to miss the subsequent indoor tournaments in Vienna and Paris, though he is still planning to play Roger Federer in a charity event in Glasgow in November.
He would almost certainly miss the Nitto ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in London anyway because he will not have earned enough ranking points to have qualified for the eight-man field.
Murray first felt the hip injury in his semi-final defeat to Stan Wawrinka at the French Open three months ago.
His hip felt sore throughout the grass-court season, during which he lost first time out to Jordan Thompson in the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club and struggled through Wimbledon.
The Scot was clearly in pain as he lost to Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals at the All England Club, after which he consulted medical specialists, who thought that rest should solve the problem.
Murray withdrew from the Montreal and Cincinnati Masters tournaments at the start of the north American hard-court season and travelled here a week before the US Open in the hope of being fit enough to play in the year's final Grand Slam event.
He was still practising just hours before making his decision to pull out two days before the tournament began.
"I kind of ran out of time," he said in announcing his withdrawal.
After further consultations with medical experts, Murray is still hoping that rest will be the answer.
The Scot said in a statement on Facebook: "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, 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 I will be able to reach my best level again and be competing for Grand Slam titles next season."
If Murray does not play competitive tennis again this season he will join three other current top 10 players - Novak Djokovic, Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori - who have ruled out playing again this year because of long-term injury issues.
Murray is ranked No.2 in the world but will probably drop out of the top 20 by the end of the year. That would mean he would still be seeded at the Australian Open, but could be in danger of meeting a top seed early on.
Independent News Service