If you were hoping to see Andy Murray at Wimbledon, it’s bad news. The former British number one – and two-time champion – has pulled out of this year’s tournament, the day before it was set to begin.
It’s been a tough year for Murray. The 31-year-old has been out of action for nearly a year, eventually undergoing hip surgery in January. He marked his return to the tour at Queen’s Club in June, bowing out to Nick Kyrgios but showcasing some promising form. And – after playing at Eastbourne – was hoping to make an impact at SW19 with a first-round match against Benoit Paire.
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But ultimately, the former world number one has decided “with a heavy heart” that his comeback will focus instead on the hardcourt season and the US Open at the end of August.
“I’ve made significant progress in practice and matches over the last ten days,” he wrote in a statement, “but after lengthy discussions with my team, we’ve decided that playing best of five set matches might be a bit too soon in the recovery process. We did everything we could to try to be ready in time.”
He added: “Thanks for all the messages of support and I’m excited to finally be back playing after so long out.”
Murray was not seeded for this year’s Wimbledon Championships, after his injury lay-off saw his ranking fall to 156th, so his path to the latter stages of the competition was littered with tennis heavyweights (including Juan-Martin Del Potro in the third round) increasing the possibility of gruelling matches.
Instead, British hopes will rest on Kyle Edmund, who is seeded 21st and has enjoyed a remarkable year, seeing off heavyweights including Grigor Dimitrov and Novak Djokovic. The young Brit will be hoping to go deep into the tournament for the first time, besting his second round effort last year. He will be joined by Johanna Konta in the women’s draw, who will be bidding to match her semi-final appearance last year.