It might be under different circumstances, but both Williams and Muzza have withdrawn from the Australian Open with the same Champions mentality! It would have been so easy to see both turn up, like most and ‘give it a go’.
The worry surrounding Murray’s hip injury gathers momentum with the pull-out but at the same time, it shows he is not just happy to make up the numbers in the 128 field. He will fly back to the UK where he has already talked about hip surgery! Hewitt and Raonic have been used as examples of players who have come back from hip surgery, so we know it is possible! The reality is, it is not an easy one to come back from though.
Once again Muzza will have to make some critical choices for his career, as he already has in the past. I would expect him to make the right ones again! In Muzza we trust!
Serena’s decision to not defend her title in Australia seems absolutely the right one. I have already pointed to the fact I didn’t want her to return prematurely. This is one of the things I love about her! One of the quotes about her withdrawal, “I can compete — but I don’t want to just compete. I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time”.
The competitive edge is still there as this shows and the future looks very positive. I would have been far more concerned had she of gone into the Ozzy unprepared and got beat as a result! Patrick Mouratoglou has penciled in Indian Wells and Miami as a realistic return when Serena will be somewhere near 100%. Remember 10 Reasons Why Serena is The Don!
For me personally, it’s sad not to see these two greats players in Melbourne this year but I don’t think you can argue with either decision. Both players have that drive to be the best at what they do and they aren’t in too shortchanging themselves or us in the process! Props!
Andy Del Potro