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Andy Murray pulls out of 2018 Australian Open

Andy Murray has not played a competitive match since his defeat in the last eight at Wimbledon in July. eurosport

Andy Murray withdrew from the Australian Open on Thursday after failing to recover from a hip injury. The 30-year-old Briton has not played a competitive match since losing the quarter-final at Wimbledon in July.

"Sadly, I won't be playing in Melbourne this year as I am not yet ready to compete," he said.

The three-time Grand Slam champion will fly back from Australia to London in order to assess his options over his recovery.

"I appreciate all the messages of support and I hope to be back playing soon," Murray added.

Murray ended his season following his five-set defeat to Sam Querrey in the last eight at Wimbledon. In a post on social media this week, Murray explained the mental turmoil of being unfit, despite six months of rehabilitation.

"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," Craig Tiley, the tournament director of the Australian Open, said.

"I know that Andy loves tennis and would do anything to play. This is a very hard decision for Andy and we totally respect it."

Nadal, Djokovic doubts

World number one Rafael Nadal and six-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic remain doubts for the first Grand slam event of the season which starts on 15 January.

Nadal, the reigning French Open and US Open champion, pulled out of Brisbane Interntional tournament last weekend with a knee injury.

Djokovic has not played since a problem with his right elbow forced him to retire from his quarter-final clash at Wimbledon.

The 30-year-old Serb cancelled scheduled appearances in Abu Dhabi and Doha to nurse his arm.

He says he will test the injury next week at two warm-up events in Melbourne before deciding whether to compete.

Will Serena return?

On the women's tour, there are question marks over the fitness of defending champion Serena Williams, who has not played competitively since giving birth four months ago.

And British number one Johanna Konta, a semi-finalist in Melbourne in 2016, retired from her Brisbane quarter-final on Thursday with a right hip injury.

"Hips take a massive beating," Konta said. "Obviously, our game is becoming more and more physical and the demands of the tour as well, week-in and week-out, is becoming more demanding."