Murray withdraws from Wimbledon with heavy heart

LONDON (Reuters) - Two-time champion Andy Murray withdrew from Wimbledon with a “heavy heart” on Sunday after saying his right hip was still not ready for the demands of a Grand Slam.

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - Wimbledon Preview - All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain - June 30, 2018 Britain's Andy Murray during practice REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

The 31-year-old Scot made a comeback last month at Queen’s Club following almost a year out with the injury that required surgery in Australia in January.

During a news conference on Saturday the former world number one sounded hopeful about his chances of being ready to face Frenchman Benoit Paire in the first round on Tuesday.

But he announced he was pulling out 24 hours later having consulted his team.

“It is with a heavy heart that I’m announcing that I’ll be withdrawing from Wimbledon this year,” he said on Twitter.

“I’ve made significant progress in practice and in matches over the last 10 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 and be ready in time.”

On a more positive note Murray said he would start practicing on hard courts on Monday and would now target a return in the U.S. hardcourt season.

Murray’s withdrawal is a big blow for the tournament especially as he appeared to be moving towards full fitness.

While he lost his opening comeback match against Nick Kyrgios at Queen’s Club, he beat Stan Wawrinka at Eastbourne last week before losing to new British number one Kyle Edmund.

Murray now faces the prospect of losing virtually all of his ranking points having reached the quarter-finals last year where he hobbled to defeat against American Sam Querrey.

His place in the draw taken by lucky loser Jason Jung of Taiwan.

Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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