Andy Murray: Two-time champion withdraws from Wimbledon

Andy Murray
Murray took part in practice sessions at Wimbledon at the weekend
Wimbledon 2018 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club, Wimbledon Dates: 2-15 July
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Two-time champion Andy Murray has withdrawn from Wimbledon on the eve of the tournament with a "heavy heart".

The 31-year-old Briton said it was "too soon" to play five-set matches after his comeback from hip surgery.

Murray returned at Queen's last month after almost a year out, losing to Nick Kyrgios, then played at Eastbourne, where he was beaten by Kyle Edmund.

In a statement, the Scot said he was "looking forward" to the US hard-court season, which starts in August.

Murray, who won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, had been drawn against Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round of the Championships, which start on Monday.

The former world number one said he had made "significant progress" over the past 10 days and did "everything he could" to be ready.

"It is with a heavy heart that I'm announcing that I'll be withdrawing from Wimbledon this year," the three-time Grand Slam champion said.

"We've decided that playing best-of-five-set matches might be a bit too soon in the recovery process.

"I will start practising on the hard courts from tomorrow and continuing with my rehab and recovery and I'm looking forward to the US hard-court season."

This will be the first time since 2007, when he withdrew with a wrist injury, that Murray, who is now world number 156, has not played at the All England Club.

Lucky loser Jason Jung from Taiwan will replace him in the draw.

Murray's year of setbacks and comebacks

  • 12 July 2017: Loses to Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon
  • Misses the rest of 2017 season and loses the number one ranking
  • January 2018: Pulls out of Australian Open and has hip surgery
  • 19 June 2018: Loses to Nick Kyrgios on his competitive return
  • 25 June: Beats Stan Wawrinka in Eastbourne, his first victory in almost a year
  • 27 June: Loses to Kyle Edmund
  • 1 July: Withdraws from Wimbledon

Analysis

Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

This was always a very ambitious grass-court return. Murray had barely played for five months when he returned to the practice court at the start of June and yet just over two weeks later he began his comeback at Queen's.

He struck the ball very nicely there, and in his first-round victory over Stan Wawrinka in Eastbourne, and yet was having to play within himself and offer a certain amount of protection to his hip.

There was no way he could be truly competitive here at Wimbledon, and the decision not to play has to be in his best long-term interests.

We have been here before, though, and in his desperation to return, Murray does not seem to have heeded his own advice. He tried to play in last year's US Open, only to pull out on the Saturday before, and then again withdrew from January's Brisbane tournament after the draw had been made.

"I want to come back when I'm fit and ready to play, not to get into a situation like in Brisbane or New York, where I'm unsure when I turn up at a tournament how fit I am," Murray said at the start of the year.

The focus now is hard courts. His next scheduled event is in Washington at the end of the month.

Andy Murray
Murray made the announcement on his social media on Sunday.

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