Sidelined: Australian tennis star goes under the knife

James Duckworth is back on the sidelines after undergoing hip surgery which will keep him out for several months

James Duckworth hopes to return to play by the end of April as he recovers from hip surgery after competing at the Australian Open.

Duckworth broke into the world top 50 for the first time in November on the back of career-best form that included reaching the quarter-finals at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Paris.

But the 30-year-old, who endured a miserable injury run, began experiencing significant hip pain the day after that brilliant run in France.

Duckworth withdrew from the ATP Cup opener in Australia in January due to hip pain, but played the rest of the summer under duress with cortisone injections.

He was desperate to play at home despite the injury, but was physically compromised and unable to play his best, losing in five sets to Frenchman Adrian Mannarino at the Australian Open after leading two sets to one.

Duckworth will sit out the Davis Cup qualifier against Hungary in Sydney in March as he recovers from a labrum repair that will sideline him for several months.

This is the ninth operation of his career, following previous surgeries to correct foot, elbow and shoulder problems.

Lleyton Hewitt underwent the same hip surgery twice, in August 2008 and January 2010, while Bernard Tomic underwent double hip surgery in January 2014.

Hewitt was back in April after the second of those operations.

In Duckworth’s favor is that he doesn’t have many points to defend by May, so his standings shouldn’t suffer too much.

He reduced his ranking from 85 in August to 47 in November and is now in 46th place, his career best.


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