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Watching Andy Murray in the Brisbane tournament wasn’t a very agreeable experience. He struggled to beat one quite ordinary opponent and then lost in straight sets to a young up-and-coming one. Admittedly, this wasn’t unexpected. He has been away from competitive tennis for a long time now. It was no surprise that he looked rusty, often slow and uncertain, and making the sort of mistakes one doesn’t associate with him. More worrying was the fact that he seemed to be limping occasionally between points, though one reflected that even when things are going well, he has often moved badly about the baseline – until play restarted, that is. So one might have thought nothing of it, if he hadn’t said that his hip was still a bit painful sometimes. Since then he has had a public practice match against Novak Djokovic in which he won only two of the twelve games played; not exactly a shock, but not very encouraging either.
Sadly, it now seems as if Brisbane and the Djokovic match, little more than a knock-up, have brought him, reluctantly, to the point of admitting that he can’t come back.