On the eve of the Wimbledon Championships in front of the pro-British crowd, two-time champion Andy Murray has withdrawn from the tournament.
At the end of 2017, Murray was forced to have hip surgery to correct a nagging injury. It caused him to miss the US Open, the Australian Open earlier this year and now the Wimbledon Championships.
Murray and his team have been working hard to get him back to playing form. He participated at the Queen’s Club Championships, where he lost a tough three-set match to Australian Nick Kyrgios 2-6, 7-6, 7-5. Murray had shown glimpses of the player that has three Grand Slam titles; winning points off brilliant defense and showcasing a variety of shots with his groundstrokes.
In the first round of Wimbledon, the Brit was scheduled to play Frenchman Benoit Paire. They had faced two previous times, with Murray winning both of their matches, including last year at Wimbledon in straight sets.
Despite preparing for the last 10 days, it is clear that the recovery process will take longer than Murray and his team hoped for. Playing three out of five set matches, which takes place only during major championships like Wimbledon, requires heightened physical fitness and a clean bill of health, both of which the Scotsman needs to accomplish on before taking the court.
“It is with a heavy heart that I’m announcing that I’ll be withdrawing from Wimbledon this year,” Murray said.
“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.”
Murray Should Emulate Comeback from Fellow Competitors
For the British fans anticipating Murray’s return to be on the illustrious Centre Court at the All-England Club, they will have to be patient before their star returns to major championship form. While it is frustrating that he has not played in a Grand Slam event since last year’s Wimbledon, taking a longer time to recover will produce beneficial results in the long-run.
Take Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. When they each got injured in 2016, it took them some time to get back to peak form. They did not rush and play tournaments and major championships, knowing that the slight tweak or tear could end their career. While fans were disappointed that tennis’s top two superstars were out of the game, Federer and Nadal were putting in the necessary rest and recovery, so that they could get back to playing at a high level.
When they both came back to playing tennis, Federer and Nadal have captured the sport once again, winning between them the last six Grand Slam tournaments. If those two could do it, then so can Andy Murray, who is younger than both of them.
“I’ve made significant progress in practice and matches over the last ten days, 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,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion.
In a sport that has such a short-lived career, letting the recovery process take its course will have more benefit than harm to Andy. The hardcourt season has tons of tournaments leading up to the U.S. Open, where we may see Murray make a return and showcase the brilliance of his game.