Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Andy Murray likely to miss rest of season due to hip injury

Andy Murray likely to miss rest of season due to hip injury

After many weeks of indecision, Andy Murray has opted not to undergo surgery on his damaged right hip, but to keep hoping that an extended period of rest and rehabilitation will solve the problem.

As a result, he says he is unlikely to play again this season. A statement released on Wednesday held out the faintest of hope that he could return to play in an indoor event before Christmas – but this sounded more like wishful thinking than a realistic plan.

“Unfortunately,” wrote Murray, “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 over the last week, along with my own team, we have decided that this is the best decision for my long-term future.”

In a strange twist, Murray’s decision means that all three major-winners from 2016 – the other two being Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka – will have finished their 2017 seasons after Wimbledon, having played through pain during the grass-court season.

When you consider that Roger Federer did the same thing last year, and that Rafael Nadal also skipped the last two big tournaments of 2016 to give himself a longer off-season, we do seem to be looking at a trend. Kei Nishikori, the 2014 US Open runner-up, has also said he will not play again in 2017.

In Murray’s case, he has already identified Brisbane – the build-up event that starts two weeks before the 2018 Australian Open – as his next tournament. Although he will also press on with an exhibition event – Andy Murray Live - involving Roger Federer in Glasgow on Nov 7.

“Although this has been a frustrating year on court for many reasons,” Murray wrote. “I’m confident after this extended period of rest and rehabilitation that I will be able to reach my best level again and be competing for grand slam titles next season.

“I will be beginning my ATP World Tour 2018 season in Brisbane in preparation for the Australian Open and I’m look forward playing in Glasgow later this year against Roger for UNICEF and Sunny-sid3up.”

The high rate of absentees at the US Open, particularly in the men’s draw, is fuelling debate that tennis needs to address the intensity of its season.

Yet the Association of Tennis Professionals insist that the number of injuries reported to its physios has showed no dramatic upswing. This could be as simple as a generation of great – and durable – players all growing old together.

“I’m not worried about the big picture,” Mats Wilander told Telegraph Sport on the eve of the US Open. “I think it’s a learning curve and people will realise with Roger and Rafa as examples that there is nothing to worry about. Just take a break when you’re injured and come back in two or three months.”