LONDON • Andy Murray has pulled out of his exhibition match at the Hurlingham Club scheduled for today, but the world No. 1 insists he will be fit to defend his title at Wimbledon, which starts on Monday.
"Sadly I won't be ready to play at the Hurlingham (an exclusive sports and social club located in London) tomorrow," he said yesterday. "My hip is still sore and I need to rest it today, and likely tomorrow."
His medical team have spotted "general soreness" rather than a specific fault line, and have prescribed "a few days' rest", which is far from ideal on the eve of a Grand Slam tournament.
The 30-year-old cancelled training yesterday and is unlikely to get back on the court before tomorrow.
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Murray also withdrew from his first scheduled hit at Hurlingham on Tuesday, and was not able to take part in a charity event for Tim Henman at Roehampton on Wednesday.
However, his team are keen to play down prospects that Murray will pull out of Wimbledon.
The Scot also took a couple of days off training in the week before Roland Garros, and he went on to reach the semi-finals, where he lost in five tough sets to Stan Wawrinka.
His problem in Paris was a minor cold. This would seem to be more physically problematic.
Murray normally takes time to adjust to the switch from the clay of Paris to grass courts ahead of Wimbledon, and he did not look to be moving with his old sureness when he lost to the world No. 90 Jordan Thompson last week in the first round of Queen's.
That was a significant interruption to his preparation for Wimbledon but he said it would give him more quality training time with his coach, Ivan Lendl, who decided to stay on in Europe after the French Open rather than return briefly to Florida. Now that strategy has slowly been unstitched.
Such a disjointed lead-up will not help Murray's chances at the Championships, which will be the most open for a long time.
World No. 4 Novak Djokovic overcame Donald Young, beating the American 6-2, 7-6 (11-9) yesterday to claim the first of the semi-final places at the Eastbourne pre-Wimbledon event.
The Serbian top seed, competing during the week before Wimbledon for the first time in seven years, saved a pair of set points in the second set before finally putting Young away after a lengthy tie-break.
He is rebuilding for Wimbledon after a poor past year by his world-class standards and is pointing towards the grass-court Grand Slam as an immediate goal.
Djokovic, who took a wild card into the tournament, is the second-highest ranked men's player ever to compete at Eastbourne behind then-No. 2 Marcelo Rios in 1998.
THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE