Late on Tuesday, Andy Murray announced what many had feared, that he would be unable to start his grass court at the ATP 250 Libéma Open in Rosmalen.
In a statement on the tournament website, it stated that he had not recovered in time from his hip operation in January and would have to postpone his comeback to the tour.
Murray said in a statement: “It is with regret that I won’t be ready to play in Hertogenbosch. 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% when I do return.”
Tournament director Marcel Hunze said: “We were looking forward to Andy’s participation. Unfortunately, he will not be present this year, but we understand his decision. We have built a good relationship with Andy and his team and we hope this helps to have him play in Rosmalen in the future.”
When did Murray last play
Murray was last on a tour-level match at Wimbledon last year, where he lost in the quarter-finals to Sam Querrey. Towards the end of that match he could hardly walk, and opted to rest for as long as possible rather than go down the longer surgical route and recovery.
Wait – didn’t he play a charity event and exhibition?
He (and Roger Federer) honoured a charity commitment in November but even then he looked to be struggling physically.
He played an exhibition match at the injury-hit Mubadala World Tennis Championships in Abu Dhabi against Roberto Bautista Agut where he looked very much as though he lacked match sharpness, but wanted to be on court before the official start of the season.
But he hasn’t played this year?
He travelled to Brisbane to play in the season opener there but pulled out, and finally opted for surgery in Australia.
Murray was speaking at an event run by Jaguar about his comeback recently, and while it gave many hope that he would be returning soon, just as many felt it was a sign that he might not return at all for the grass court season, with eyes turning to events on the US hard courts.
“I’m getting closer to playing again.”
Andy Murray was speaking at a commercial event and hopes to be fit for grass-court season.
ATP Rosmalen takes place between 11-17 June (so straight after the end of Roland Garros)
Fever Tree Championships at Queen’s Club is 18-24 June which is just a week and a half away.
Wimbledon takes place between 2-15 July, a little over a month away.
Is it all doom and gloom?
He has recently taken back to the courts and was training previously at the start of the clay court season at the Patrick Mouratoglou’s academy in France.
It might actually be better for him to skip the grass and eye a comeback on the US hard courts in the run up to the US Open – a tournament that he really enjoys and saw him score his first Grand Slam title.
Either way, as we have seen already this season with Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka, coming back too soon can cause huge setbacks. We also saw that with Murray returning after back surgery in 2013 and taking almost a year to fully be back to his best.
It will not be the worst thing in the world if he takes his time.
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