As the Australian Open is set to begin in two weeks, two of the top ATP players have announced their withdrawal from the first Grand Slam of the season.
Nishikori not yet ready, but has set a comeback date
On Wednesday, Kei Nishikori made an announcement via his app. The Japanese, sidelined since Cincinnati due to a wrist injury, declared that he is not yet ready to take on best of five matches:
There is, however, a nice silver lining for Nishikori. Shortly after his Australian Open announcement, it was announced that he had taken a wild card into the Oracle Challenger, which will be held from 20-28 January in Newport Beach.
As far as the former number four is concerned, the prospects of a return to competition are bright.
After Brisbane, the Australian Open for Murray
It was expected. After withdrawing from the Brisbane International and following his extremely heartfelt and emotional message, Andy Murray has announced, early on Thursday, that he was forced to pull out of the Australian Open.
“Sadly I won’t be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete”, declared the Scot. “I’ll be flying home shortly to assess all the options.”
This withdrawal marks the first time that Murray will not be present in Melbourne for the first major of the year. The five-time runner-up has been playing it every year since 2006.
As the former number one mentioned in his message, we should know within the next few days what the next steps will be in his case. Will he opt for more rest and rehabilitation? Will he choose to undergo what may be a risky surgery?
No matter what comes next for Murray, we can only hope and wish that he will come back and play the sport that he loves.