Andy Murray is the latest high-profile withdrawal from the Brisbane International, joining Rafael Nadal and top women’s seed Garbine Muguruza on the sidelines.
The 30-year-old has been troubled by an ongoing hip complaint.
The three-time grand slam winner made the decision to withdraw from the tournament on Tuesday afternoon.
Murray’s withdrawal is a bitter blow for tournament directors who already lost Nadal before the event through injury, while number one women’s seed Muguruza retired in her opening match after suffering severe cramps.
“It’s disappointing that Andy can’t continue. It’s disappointing for him because I know how much he wanted to play here as well,” said tournament director Cameron Pearson.
He’s done his best to be ready for the tournament but hasn’t quite come up. He’s doing everything he can to play again.
“I had a long chat with him and he’s really looking forward to getting his body right and playing in Melbourne.”
Murray said he was “very disappointed” not to be playing in Brisbane.
“I came here with every intention of making a strong start to the year, but sadly my team and I don’t feel that I’m where I need to be just yet to compete at the highest level,” Murray said in a statement.
“I have great memories of playing here in Brisbane and I have always enjoyed competing in front of the Queensland fans, so look forward to returning in the near future.”
Australian Bernard Tomic also pulled out of the Brisbane International’s qualifying tournament.
The tournament was meant to be the scene of Murray’s comeback after missing the second half of 2017 because of his hip problem.
But the Scotsman conceded his expectations “weren’t massively high” due to a lack of match fitness.
On Monday, he took to the practice courts with Canadian Milos Raonic, where Murray was put through his paces during a scratch match.
Hopman Cup win for Federer
World No.2 Roger Federer continued his strong early-season form with a 6-3 7-6 (10-8) win over Russian Karen Khachanov at the Hopman Cup on Tuesday night.
Federer was broken in his first service game, but bounced back strongly to win the match in 77 minutes and give Switzerland a 1-0 lead in the tie.
Former world No.7 Belinda Bencic can secure the tie win with victory over Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the women’s singles rubber.
Federer started his Hopman Cup campaign with a straight sets win over Japan’s Yuichi Sugita.
And although he started slowly against Khachanov, he quickly bounced back to win the opening set in 29 minutes.
The second set was an entertaining arm wrestle as both players produced powerful service games.
But Federer finally cracked the Russian in an epic tiebreak, saving a set point to secure the win on his third match point, courtesy of a successful challenge.