British number one Andy Murray has all-but ruled himself out of the rest of the 2017 tennis season due to a long-running hip problem. The three-time grand slam champion has not played since crashing out of Wimbledon in July, missing a series of events including the US Open, to cure his latest fitness issue.
But the 30-year-old has admitted defeat in attempts to ready himself for the final three months of the campaign, formally withdrawing from the China Open and Shanghai Masters in October, the next events on the ATP circuit after the final major of the year in New York.
Murray also expects to miss the Vienna Open in the same month and November's Paris Masters, but has stopped short of confirming his absence from the events. The Scot is the defending champion at each of the four tournaments but believes the decision will pay dividends.
"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," he announced via his Facebook and Instagram pages.
"Although this has been a frustrating year on court for many reasons, 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."
The decision also ends any hopes Murray had of competing at the ATP World Tour Finals in London, the traditional end of season event which includes the top eight singles and doubles players in the world. Should he not play competitively again this year he will join Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka in calling time on their respective seasons due to injury.
Since soaring to world number one at the end of a magnificent 2016, Murray has been dogged by injury problems and a dramatic loss of form. Either side of fourth round and semi-final exits at the Australian and French Opens, Murray suffered from an elbow injury which forced him to miss the Miami Masters.
At Wimbledon, Murray reached the quarter-finals but a hip problem suffered during his preparations for SW19 flared up as he lost to Sam Querrey. His decision to withdraw from the start of the hard court season saw him replaced as world number one by Rafael Nadal but there remained hopes he could play again this year.
Murray remains committed to playing Roger Federer in a charity match in Glasgow on 7 November in what is likely to be his next appearance on court. Any subsequent competitive outings may have to wait until January 2018 at the Brisbane International, ahead of next year's Australian Open.