Tennis: Unfit Andy Murray may miss Wimbledon

Andy Murray will decide with his team in the coming days on what his plans are for the next few weeks.
Andy Murray will decide with his team in the coming days on what his plans are for the next few weeks.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

LONDON • Andy Murray has admitted that he may not enter Wimbledon this year. After his comeback ended in defeat at the Queen's Club Championships on Tuesday, the two-time All England Club champion is unsure whether his body can cope with the physical demands of the best-of-five-set format of a Grand Slam.

Murray pushed Australian Nick Kyrgios all the way in a thrilling first-round match, losing out 2-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5 after 2hr 39min.

His performance may have surpassed the expectations of many of the 9,000 spectators sitting in the stands, but the former world No. 1 was not sure afterwards whether he will be ready to play at Wimbledon, which begins in less than a fortnight on July 2.

The movement of Murray is, at this point, understandably not what it was.

He will decide with his team in the coming days on what his plans are for the next few weeks. One option is to take a wild card into next week's Eastbourne International in - which is played over the best of three sets - and skip Wimbledon.

"I won't rule anything out just now," he said after his first competitive match since losing to Sam Querrey in last year's Wimbledon quarter-finals and opting to have right hip surgery five months ago.

"I won't rule out playing Eastbourne and not playing Wimbledon. I wouldn't rule out not playing a tournament next week and trying to get matches like in an exhibition tournament, as well, to get ready for Wimbledon.

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  • Months since Andy Murray's last competitive match, the quarter-final loss to Sam Querrey at Wimbledon last year.

"I'm not sure yet. I'm really happy that I got on the match court today and played. It was a close decision. I have not been practising loads at all.

"I have been hitting for a couple of weeks, and I really haven't played a whole lot of tennis, so I'm happy I got out there, competed and performed respectably.

"I'll need to wait and see what happens the next few days and chat with my team about that, because I don't know exactly what's best for me just now."

Murray still strikes the ball with aplomb, serves well, comes forward to the net with ease and remains tactically astute. It is when he is forced out wide that some hesitancy in his movement is evident and opportunities open up for the opponent.

"I didn't feel amazing physically," said the three-time Major champion, who has dropped to No. 156 in the world rankings.

"At the end I was starting to tire. But it was a good test for me in my first match for a long time."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 21, 2018, with the headline 'Unfit Murray may miss Wimbledon'. Print Edition | Subscribe