Sunday 16 December 2018

Andy Murray to suffer huge fall in the ATP rankings as the former world No.1 pulls out of Wimbledon

Andy Murray has pulled out of Wimbledon (Photo by Philippe Crochet / Photonews
via Getty Images)
Andy Murray has pulled out of Wimbledon (Photo by Philippe Crochet / Photonews via Getty Images)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Andy Murray's withdrawal from Wimbledon will see his ranking collapse to a stunning new low by the time he returns to the court once again, with the former World No.1 set to be ranked around 840 by mid-July.

Murray went into last year's Wimbledon Championships as the world No.1 and the defending champion, but a quarter-final defeat against Sam Querrey preceded an 11-month break from the game for the Scot as he nursed a hip injury.

A made a return to action last month, but confirmed he would not play at Wimbledon despite taking up his place in the draw, meaning the ranking points he would have defended at the All England Club will not slip away.

That means Murray will have just 20 ranking points when he attempts to step up his return to action on American hard courts, leaving him 8750 points behind current world No.1 Rafael Nadal.

Murray has apologised to fans who he said 'may feel let down' by his Wimbledon withdrawal, as he offered up a full explanation for his surprise late pull-out.

"I spoke to my team last night saying how I was feeling about things and got their thoughts," he said. "We've been speaking pretty much every day about how I'm feeling in terms of my hip and how I'm getting on physically.

"This morning I spoke with all of my team and my doctor as well. We were trying to get in touch last night but my doctor wasn't quite able to. I was just sort of feeling that I was not ready and willing to play."

Murray also revealed last year's Wimbledon, when his hip problems first began to show and he limped through to the quarter-finals, was playing on his mind.

"When I was getting asked about certain things, it was just quite unknown," he said. "I didn't know how I was going to respond to playing five-set matches. I went through a similar situation last year when I went into Wimbledon.

"I didn't feel good before Wimbledon last year but decided to play. I know how that ended up. There was a bit of that in the back of my mind as well, thinking: 'Let's sure make sure I don't make a mistake'.

"I've made progress in the last month, which hadn't really been the case for the last 10 or 11 months. I was going in the right direction. I would have been putting myself in a situation that I haven't been able to replicate in training or in practice recently. Which is a maybe a bit unnecessary to do that at this stage."

The first signs that something was amiss came when Murray was absent from the practice schedule on Sunday, but he said: "I didn't have any setbacks in practice.

"It's been a positive 10 days, two weeks. I decided to play at Queen's. Considering the circumstances, I think I competed pretty well against the level of opposition that I was up against. Also in practices, it's not like guys have been killing me and I've been completely off the pace.

"But I also know how I felt after the match with Nick (Kyrgios), too, so there was a bit of that in the back of my mind, thinking, 'If I played a five-set match and it was four hours, how am I going to feel?' Nobody can guarantee that I'm going to wake up and feel great.

"What I didn't want to do was to start the tournament, potentially win my first match, and then withdraw because I didn't feel good. I didn't feel that was the right thing to do, either.

"I didn't feel like I was going to win the tournament. I didn't feel I was going to do extremely well in the tournament. There were just so many unknowns. They were all signs that it was maybe not the right thing to do.

"It's been hard because I really wanted to play. Once you get back on the match court, you don't want to be taking what feels like a bit of a step back in some ways."

While Murray's rivals are beginning their Wimbledon campaigns, the 31-year-old will hit the hard courts on Monday in preparation for the American summer, with his next tournament scheduled to be the Citi Open in Washington, starting on July 30.

This is the fourth successive slam Murray will have missed, and the first time he has sat out Wimbledon since a wrist injury kept him away in 2007.

He talked of making the call with a heavy heart, and said: "It has been tough but I am kind of at ease with the decision. I am not second guessing it and thinking, 'Should I have played, should I have gone out there and see how it felt?

"I feel comfortable with the decision because it is the right one for me at this stage, long term. If I was thinking I would not play Wimbledon again, it would be a different decision to make and obviously I would be out there and just playing to enjoy it and potentially play my last Wimbledon.

"But I want to play for a couple more years and hopefully be back competing at the top of the game and I need to bear that in mind when I am making decisions right now as well. If I can get myself fit and healthy, I believe that my tennis will get there and it won't take that long to get back."

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