Sunday, July 14, 2024

Wimbledon 2024: Andy Murray to miss men's singles but set to play in doubles – BBC


Andy Murray was aiming to make his 16th appearance in the Wimbledon singles
Andy Murray has decided not to play in the Wimbledon singles, instead making his farewell to the All England Club in the doubles alongside older brother Jamie.
Murray, who is planning to retire later this year, had surgery 10 days ago on a back issue.
The 37-year-old, who won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, was due to play Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic on Centre Court on Tuesday.
Former world number one Murray had a cyst close to his spinal cord removed on Saturday because it was causing nerve pain in his right leg.
Speaking a few hours after his withdrawal was announced, Murray said: "I wanted to sleep on it, make sure I was happy with the decision and give myself the chance when I woke up to see if it felt much better.
"I ran around a bit at home this morning when I got up – it wasn't where I wanted it to be unfortunately.
"It's probably a few days too soon but I'm proud I worked extremely hard to give myself a chance to play. It's the right decision."
Wimbledon organisers said they were "sorry to hear" Murray was not playing in the singles.
"We are so looking forward to seeing you compete in the doubles and celebrating all the memories you have given us," a statement added.
The Murray brothers, who have never teamed up at the Championships, will play Australian pair Rinky Hijikata and John Peers later this week.
The first round of the men's doubles is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, but Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton said the Murrays could even play on Friday.
"I think it is likely to be Thursday but depends on conditions. I'm not 100% sure," Andy Murray added.
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Murray has been giving himself as long as possible to be ready for what will be an emotional goodbye at the scene of some of his greatest triumphs, having also won Olympic gold on Centre Court at London 2012.
The Scot's plans have been disrupted by the back issue which flared up earlier this summer and forced him to retire from his match at Queen's against Australia's Jordan Thompson on 19 June after only five games.
But he has fought to be fit because he wants a bit of "closure" at the All England Club before stopping playing professionally.
On Sunday, Murray said the area where he had the operation was not sore, but added he still did not have 100% feeling in his leg.
He trained with former British number one Kyle Edmund for more than an hour on Monday, leading 6-3 2-0 in a practice match before they stopped.
Afterwards, Murray said he would make a decision later that evening and announced on Tuesday morning – several hours before he was due to face Machac – that he would focus on the doubles.
Andy and 38-year-old Jamie represented Great Britain in doubles at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Club, when they lost in the first round.
They also played together at Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016, while memorably teaming up in Britain's victorious 2015 Davis Cup campaign.
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Watch the winning moment from Murray's Wimbledon victories
Having initially feared he would have to retire in 2019 because of hip surgery, Murray returned to the tour later that year after having a metal cap inserted into the joint.
But the injury issues have continued and the three-time major champion said earlier this year that he did not plan to "play much past the summer".
Murray, who also won gold at the Rio 2016 Games, said last month that retiring at Wimbledon or the Olympics would be "fitting", given his success in both events.
He still plans for this month's Paris Olympics to be his "last tournament" after being selected in the Great Britain team.
The tennis event starts on 27 July on the clay courts at Roland Garros.
Murray could play in the singles, as well as the doubles alongside Dan Evans, but the next few weeks will determine whether he is fit to play.
"I'll see how I feel, I don't know exactly how this will recover," he said.
"Most days it has been getting better but I still don't have the total feeling and normality back in my leg yet.
"I hope it continues to get better but there are no guarantees."
Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent
That sobering moment has finally arrived, and with it the realisation we will never see Andy Murray in a Centre Court Wimbledon singles match again.
Murray said as recently as Sunday that it was probably more likely he would not be able to compete.
He gave himself one more night to sleep on it, before listening to the rational voice in his head which had no doubt been telling him a competitive five set singles was impractical so soon after spinal surgery.
A doubles farewell was not in his perfect script. But he will have his brother Jamie alongside him, his family in the stands, and BBC cameras creating what could be a national television moment.
And as this is Andy Murray, it may not be a quick goodbye.
"Who says we are going to go out? I think we can win matches," Murray told BBC Sport at the weekend.
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