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Andy Murray Withdraws From Australian Tennis Open 2018 • Kei Nishikori Is Also Out •

Kei Nishikori of Japan in action against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain during their third round match for the Wimbledon Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, in London, Britain, 07 July 2017. EPA/WILL OLIVER



Murray withdraws from Australian Open, Nishikori already on the absentee list


By Ricky Dimon


Unsurprisingly, Andy Murray officially withdrew from the 2018 Australian Open on Thursday afternoon. Murray’s participation in the first major of the season was cast into significant doubt this past weekend when he pulled out of the Brisbane International and made an emotional post on his social media outlets.


“Sadly I won’t be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete,” the world No. 1 said on Thursday. “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.”


That may be wishful thinking based on Murray’s post when he withdrew from Brisbane.


“Hey everyone..,” the Scot wrote. “Just wanted to write a little message on here for anyone interested in what [I’m] going through right now. Firstly I want to [apologize] to @brisbanetennis for withdrawing at late notice and to everyone who wanted to come along to watch me play(or lose). The [organizers] couldn’t have been more understanding and supportive and I’ll always remember that. Thank you.


“I’ve obviously been going through a really difficult period with my hip for a long time and have sought counsel from a number of hip specialists. 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 to get back on the court competing.


“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. Obviously 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.”


Photo by Andy Murray via Facebook

“I choose this pic as the little kid inside me just wants to play tennis and Compete.. I genuinely miss it so much and i would give anything to be back out there. I didn’t [realize] until these last few months just how much I love this game.


Kei Nishikori preceded Murray on what could be a growing list of Australian Open absences. The former world No. 4 from Japan announced his withdrawal earlier this week because of a lingering wrist problem.


“The Aussie Open is my favorite Slam,” said Nishikori, who plans on returning with a pair of Challenger events in California and Texas later this month. “My rehab is going well but I am just not ready 100 percent to come back yet in best-of-five-set matches…. I am very excited and looking forward to getting back on the court in January. The Oracle Challenger Series is a perfect event in a great Southern California location to help me get some match play. This will be a great opportunity to face some high-level competition.”


The world No. 22 has not played since his absolutely ridiculous loss to Gael Monfils at the Montreal Masters last August. Murray, meanwhile, last played an official match at Wimbledon–where lost an injury-plagued quarterfinal match against Sam Querrey.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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