Murray to feature at Australian Open, claims tournament director

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Andy Murray "is preparing for a great 2018" and will make his grand slam return at the Australian Open, according to the tournament's director Craig Tiley.

A five-time runner-up in Melbourne, Murray has been recovering from a hip problem and has not featured on the ATP Tour since his quarter-final exit to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon in July.

It is thought Murray is unlikely to be back in action before the end of 2017, with the opening slam of the new year the next significant event on the horizon.

The likes of former champions Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka have also been absent with injury of late, but Tiley is expecting a star-studded cast at Melbourne Park in 2018.

"I'm very happy to confirm that all the top players will be back in Melbourne in January," Tiley said.

"On the men's side, there has been a lot of concern and conjecture around Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Kei Nishikori.

"I can tell you that in talking to Andy, he has been training and he is preparing for having a great year in 2018.

"How much would this year have hurt him, to watch over the entire year Roger [Federer] and Rafa [Nadal] share four grand slam titles - he would not have liked that.

"As competitive as Andy is, we know he's back and he'll want to improve his current ranking of number three in the world and getting back to number one."