Last year’s finalist, Andy Murray will not be targeting a third title in Cincinnati after announcing his withdrawal from this year’s tournament as he continues his race to get fit ahead of the US Open.
In a year where we have seen the resurgence of both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer after taking extended layoffs to recover from injury last year, we have since seen Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka (last year’s US Open finalists) both call time on their seasons.
Murray said, in a statement from the Western & Southern Open: “Unfortunately I won’t be playing in Cincinnati as I continue my recovery. I always enjoy playing there and I look forward to returning next year. I’m continuing to work hard on the court with the aim of being in New York.”
Having already pulled out of this week’s tournament in Montreal, his World No. 1 spot is at risk. Nadal only has to reach the semi-final to overtake the Brit, who has held the No. 1 rankings since the season-ending World Tour Finals last year.
Nadal will be the top seed now in Cincinnati, regardless of whether of the result this week, for the first time since 2010 and he was the champion in 2010. Federer will be the No. 2 seed and it will be the first time since 2009 that the pair have topped and tailed the brackets as the top two seeds.
Should Andy Murray call time on his season?
It has been a rough season for Murray since he donned the World No. 1 mantle. An earlier than expected exit not even making the second week in Melbourne, singles, elbow injury, colds, and now a hip injury.
Apart from being a one-man episode of Casualty, his efforts to become the World No. 1 left him pretty much spent through out the year. His preparation for Roland Garros was patchy with early exits in baffling matches, yet he ran to the semi-finals.
He lost in the opening round of Queen’s Club, and his hip prevented him from even getting a couple of rounds in at Hurlingham, but he still put up a fight all the way to the quarter-finals.
The time has come though to assess whether Murray too would be better turning his back on the end of this season, and taking the time to come back healed and well rested.
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The US Open takes place between 28 August to 10 September.
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