Wednesday 19 September 2018

'Heavy-Hearted' Murray forced to withdraw from Wimbledon

Andy Murray. Photo: PA.
Andy Murray. Photo: PA.

Andy Murray has been forced to pull out of Wimbledon because of his ongoing injury problems.

The two-time champion had been due to play Benoit Paire in the first round tomorrow and spoke positively about his prospects at a press conference on Saturday, but he has decided best-of-five-set tennis is too demanding at this stage of his comeback from hip surgery.

Murray said in a statement: "It's with regret I'm withdrawing from Wimbledon. I've made significant progress in practice and matches over the last 10 days but, after lengthy discussions with my team and with a heavy heart, 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. 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.

"Thanks for all the messages of support and I'm excited to finally be back playing after so long out."

Following hip surgery in January, Murray finally returned to the match court at Queen's Club two weeks ago, losing a close match to Nick Kyrgios.

He took a wild card into the Nature Valley International at Eastbourne and defeated Stan Wawrinka before losing to Kyle Edmund.

Serena Williams will make her return to Wimbledon on Court One today after Caroline Wozniacki was given Centre Court billing for her match against Varvara Lepchenko.

Williams, who missed the tournament last year as she prepared to give birth to daughter Olympia, has been seeded 25th and will take on Dutchwoman Arantxa Rus.

As the defending men's champion, Roger Federer will open proceedings on Centre against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic, while Wawrinka takes on sixth seed Grigor Dimitrov.

British wild card Liam Broady will take to Court One for his clash with former finalist Milos Raonic after US Open champion Sloane Stephens faces Croatia's Donna Vekic.

Last year's beaten finalists feature on the Court Two schedule, with third seed Marin Cilic taking on Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka, before Venus Williams plays Johanna Larsson.

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport