The 32-year-old has had to contend with a lingering groin injury that has 'left him presently unable to practise on court', according to an exclusive report from Stuart Fraser in The Times.

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Murray 'initially believed it was a mild issue that he would overcome', but he has not recovered sufficiently from the injury and 'has taken the decision with his coaching team to cancel the plans for a two-week block'.

The three-time Grand Slam champion was due to fly out to Miami on Thursday to undertake the off-season training camp that he is well known for completing each winter.

Andy Murray after winning the Miami Masters 2013 final (Reuters)

Image credit: Reuters

The Brit suffered a bruise to his pelvic bone during Great Britain's run to the semi-finals of the inaugural new format of the Davis Cup in Madrid in November and only played one singles match in the competition.

Murray is currently ranked at number 126 in the world and, according to the report, is 'hopeful of receiving a main draw wildcard rather than having to go through qualifying' having already submitted his entry to the Australian Open.

He reportedly intends to travel to Australia on December 27 ahead of the opening Grand Slam of the 2020 season, which gets underway on January 20.

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Where does this leave him for Melbourne?

As a five-time finalist at Melbourne Park, Murray will certainly be expected to land the wildcard that he is seeking to begin his Australian Open campaign in the main draw. However, this is undoubtedly a major setback in his plans to regain full strength and fitness ahead of the potentially-gruelling five-set matches which may lie ahead.

This is uncharted territory Murray could find himself in, 12 months after the world of tennis announced his premature farewell at the very same event, as pointed out by Eurosport tennis writer David Avakian in his feature article back in November.

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His impressive and emotional triumph at the European Open in Antwerp to claim his first ATP title since winning the Dubai Championships as the then world number one back in 2017 again demonstrated that he has what it takes to perform at the highest level, but the prospect of playing marathon matches in the strength-sapping Melbourne sunshine is another thing altogether.

It would be extremely foolish for anyone to dismiss Murray's chances at one of his favourite events in January after hopefully making a full recovery. That being said, no person has had to contend with a five-set singles match with a metal hip in extreme and oppresive heat, let alone multiple matches - then throw in having to miss a crucial two-week winter training block and a groin injury, and it's a tough task which awaits him in just over a month's time.

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