16 Nov

Andy Murray’s Wimbledon hopes hit after pulling out of Libema Open

first_img Read more Novak Djokovic unsure of Wimbledon after shock loss to Marco Cecchinato news The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Since you’re here… Wimbledon At one point, he let it be known he was ahead of schedule. However, he ceased practising several weeks ago, unhappy with his reactions on court, and sought further medical assurance about his level of progress. It seemed for a while his stuttering attempts to get fit for the grass season were over. Share via Email Topics He will now switch his ambitions from the Libema Open in Rosmalen, ’s-Hertogenbosch, towards the Fever Tree tournament at Queen’s, which starts on 18 June and where he has won five times. If he doesn’t play at Queen’s, he almost certainly will not risk Wimbledon, where he has won two of his three slam titles.“It is with regret that I won’t be ready to play in ’s-Hertogenbosch,” Murray said on Tuesday night. “I was excited to play there for the first time, but I am not quite ready to return. I am still aiming to play in the coming weeks, but I want to be 100% fit when I do return.”A source close to the Murray camp said: “He’ll make a late decision on Queen’s next week, depending on how the next week to 10 days go.”It is the detail of what constitutes ‘100% fit’ that is crucial to Murray’s strategy. For nearly a year, he has wrestled with the conundrum, desperate to return, but reluctant to risk aggravating a weakness that could end his career. He revealed in January his hip had been an underlying problem for him for 10 years.Since limping out of Wimbledon last year, after going five painful sets with Sam Querrey, he withdrew from the US Open two days before the start, pulled out of a projected comeback in Brisbane over the new year and then brought the whole effort to a halt in Melbourne, where he had hip surgery on 8 January.Having agonised for months over his options, he did not have a hip replacement and was satisfied that the operation by a trusted confidant and respected specialist, John O’Donnell, had been worth the gamble.Since then, Murray has taken great care with his recovery, putting in long hours of physio and exercise in the gym, monitored by a team of medical experts, before testing out his on-court movement at Patrick Mouratoglou’s academy in the south of France, then with practice matches at Wimbledon. Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Facebook Over the past few days, however, there have been encouraging signs. First his mother, Judy, revealed he had returned to the court and was hopeful of playing at Wimbledon. On Tuesday, in a sponsored video interview released to the media, Murray said he felt reason to be more optimistic.“It’s been very slow,” he admitted. “I’ve been out getting close to a year now which is a lot longer than I think me or any of my team expected at the beginning. But I’m getting closer to playing again. I’ve started training a few days ago and hoping to make my comeback during the grass court season.”Asked about his prospects at Wimbledon, if he does play, he said, “I’m hoping I will be there, but Roger Federer has obviously got a phenomenal record on grass. He’s won eight times at Wimbledon so he’ll definitely be up there as one of the favourites. But, you never know, it depends a little bit on the draw.”If he is in that draw – whatever his ranking – he hopes it will at least end a year of uncertainty and struggle. The former champion – who spent 41 weeks as world No 1 before his injury worsened – will drop outside the top 150 on Monday. If he were to win Queen’s, he would go to Wimbledon ranked in the 60s. Either way, Murray will be on the outside looking in for the first time in many years. Andy Murray … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. 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Andy Murray’s efforts to be fit for Wimbledon in a month’s time took another hit on Tuesday when he pulled out of a minor grass court tournament in the Netherlands he had identified as the place to launch a low-key comeback after almost a year out of the game. Support The Guardian Read more Tennis Share on Pinterest Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img

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