Bernard Tomic, Australia’s No. 2 player has been ruled out of competition for 12 weeks after being told he needs immediate hip surgery, scheduled for next week.
The 21-year-old started his season representing Australia in the Hopman Cup in Perth, but managed to battle his way to the Sydney title in an attempt to defend his title in Sydney, the week prior to the start of the Australian Open.
He barely lasted the first few minutes into his first round encounter with World No. 1 Rafael Nadal in Melbourne Park as he pulled up after serving in the first game with a grimace of pain.
He gamely played on throughout the first set, requiring treatment for a groin tear, and took to a press conference after a scan following the match to give his reasons for pulling out of the match, after initially receiving jeers from the night session crowd.
Tomic had tried to have the surgery delayed until after the Davis Cup tie at the end of January, but was told by doctors that it could not be delayed, and he will undergo the operation in Melbourne.
Dr Martin Clark said: "Bernard's injury is complex and resulted from a hip condition called femoralacetabular impingement, which has placed significant limitations on Bernard's agility and speed and places him at constant risk of injury. He requires the surgery in the coming weeks and will likely return to the ATP circuit in three months."
He continued: "Bernard was desperate to delay surgery until after Davis Cup but accepted strong medical advice that it shouldn't be delayed.''
As it was, Tomic had expected to be out for 1-3 weeks with the tear he sustained in his first round match, so this is an additional blow, although Dr. Clark believes he should be able to return to full fitness ahead of the second Slam of the year, the French Open.
Dr, Clark added: "He would have had this for some years, at least 10 years. But it's only become very obvious recently and brought to a head with injury, [and] he wasn't aware that he had the condition (prior to the Australian Open).
"It is remarkable that he has had the success he has had considering this hip condition. The good news is that it can be fixed with surgery with most athletes returning with superior agility and speed."
Australia will face France away on 31 January to 2 February.