Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori, Andy Murray vs Kei Nishikori, French Open, Roland Garros
Andy Murray.Clive Brunskill/Getty Images.

Former world number one Andy Murray will not be participating in Australian Open, starting January 15. The three-time Grand Slam champion has taken the decision following persistent issues with his hip, BBC reported.

Murray had withdrawn from ongoing Brisbane International -- season-opening ATP 250 tournament, citing pain in his hip. The world number 16 said he was still not fit enough to "compete at the highest level".

'Will assess all options'

He took a flight from Brisbane to Melbourne enroute to London on Thursday, according to the report.

"Sadly I will not be playing in Melbourne this year, as I am not yet ready to compete. I will be flying home shortly to assess all the options but I appreciate all the messages of support and I hope to be back playing soon," Murray said, as quoted by the report.

Meanwhile, Australian open tournament director Craig Tiley said Murray had to make a "hard decision" and that they "totally respect it".

"We are fully aware that Andy has been going through a difficult period with his hip and that he's done everything possible to prepare for the Australian summer," Tiley said.

"Personally, I also know that Andy loves tennis and would do anything to play. This is a very hard decision for Andy and we totally respect it."

Will Murray go under the knife?

Notably, Murray has not played competitive tennis since losing Wimbledon 2017 quarter-final to Sam Querrey.

He featured in an exhibition match at Mubadala Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last month. The three-time Grand Slam champion had replaced injured Novak Djokovic and played a one-set match against Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain.

Murray had avoided a hip surgery last year, but he revealed he would consider getting it done after he pulled out of Brisbane International earlier this week.

Check out this emotional post from Murray

Hey everyone.. Just wanted to write a little message on here for anyone interested in what in going through right now. Firstly I want to apologise to @brisbanetennis for withdrawing at late notice and to everyone who wanted to come along to watch me play(or lose?) The organisers couldn't have been more understanding and supportive and I'll always remember that. Thank you. I've obviously been going through a really difficult period with my hip for a long time and have sought council from a number of hip specialists. Having been recommended to treat my hip conservatively since the US Open I have done everything asked of me from a rehab perspective and worked extremely hard to try get back on the court competing. Having played practice sets here in Brisbane with some top players unfortunately this hasn't worked yet to get me to the level I would like so I have to reassess my options. Obviously continuing rehab is one option and giving my hip more time to recover. Surgery is also an option but the chances of a successful outcome are not as I high as I would like which has made this my secondary option and my hope has been to avoid that. However this is something I may have to consider but let's hope not. I choose this pic as the little kid inside me just wants to play tennis and Compete.. I genuinely miss it so much and i would give anything to be back out there. I didn't realise until these last few months just how much I love this game. Everytime I wake up from sleeping or napping i hope that it's better and it's quite demoralising when you get on the court it's not at the level you need it to be to compete at this level. In the short term I'm going to be staying in Australia for the next couple of days to see if my hip settles down a bit and will decide by the weekend whether to stay out here or fly home to assess what I do next. Sorry for the long post but I wanted to keep everyone in the loop and get this off my chest as it's really hurting inside. Hope to see you back on the court soon ??❤️

A post shared by Andy Murray (@andymurray) on

Murray had a dream run in 2016, winning his second Wimbledon title and reaching the final of Australian Open and French Open. He clinched the year as world number one as well.

However, his fortunes changed in 2017 as he struggled to win even a single title. The right-hander ended his season early and thereby slipped to the 16th spot.