ANDY Murray will fly to Australia within the week and is still planning to begin his 2018 campaign as originally scheduled at the Brisbane International tournament, Herald Sport understands.

The Scot, who hasn’t played a competitive match since his painful Wimbledon quarter final defeat to Sam Querrey as he battles a hip condition, had previously spoken of travelling to Australia far earlier than usual to build up his sharpness ahead of the Australian Open. There now appears to have been some slippage in that schedule but for now the 30-year-old remains on the entry list for the traditional Aussie Open warm-up event in Brisbane, which begins on New Year’s Day, ahead of the first major of the season, which takes place in Melbourne from January 15 to 29.

After a lengthy period of consultation, Murray - who has now dropped to No 16 in the rankings - decided against surgery to alleviate the hip condition, which has nagged him periodically throughout his career but flared up with a vengeance after the French Open semi-final defeat to Stan Wawrinka. Pulling out of the US Open on the eve of the competition, Murray instead opted for an extended period of rest and rehabilitation - which has co-incided with the birth of his second child. While the 30-year-old was said to be progressing well ahead of the Andy Murray Live exhibition event at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow in early November, where he took a set from Australian Open and Wimbledon champion Roger Federer, there were reports on Wednesday that he had cut short his planned December training block in Miami. November also saw him call time on his successful partnership with coach Ivan Lendl and announce a move into sports management, which will see him mentoring Scotland’s Aidan McHugh among others.

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