The three-time Grand Slam champion has not played a competitive match since Wimbledon last year and has not managed to recover from his persistent hip injury.
With the Australian Open beginning on January 15, Murray has simply not been able to recover in time for the first Slam of the year.
“Sadly I won’t be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete,” Murray said.
” 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.”
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said: “We are fully aware that Andy has been going through a difficult period with his hip and that he’s done everything possible to prepare for the Australian summer.
“Personally, I also know that Andy loves tennis and would do anything to play. This is a very hard decision for Andy and we totally respect it.”
The confirmation of Murray’s withdrawal comes after he posted an emotional Instagram message to fans explaining his decision to pull out of ATP Brisbane.
Hey everyone.. Just wanted to write a little message on here for anyone interested in what in going through right now. Firstly I want to apologise to @brisbanetennis for withdrawing at late notice and to everyone who wanted to come along to watch me play(or lose😇) The organisers 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 council 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 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 I 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. 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 realise until these last few months just how much I love this game. Everytime I wake up from sleeping or napping i hope that it's better and it's quite demoralising when you get on the court it's not at the level you need it to be to compete at this level. 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. 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. Hope to see you back on the court soon 🎾😢❤️
The emotive note and childhood photo led many to speculate that he would withdraw from the Australian Open, and so it has now proved.
Murray’s most recent match was a one-set exhibition against Roberto Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi last week and he will now get back to working on his rehabilitation in the UK.