WIMBLEDON – Andy Murray tried to be ready for the tournament that means the most to him.
But it seems he ran out of time.
Scheduled to play Benoit Paire of France on Tuesday, Murray pulled the plug Sunday – just a day after indications were that he intended to give it a go.
The best-of-five set format probably was the deciding factor.
Jason Jung of Taiwan (via Torrance, California) will be the lucky loser who takes Murray’s spot in the draw.
“It is with heavy heart that I’m announcing that ‘ll be withdrawing from Wimbledon this year,” he wrote on Facebook.
“I’ve made significant progress in practice and matches over the last ten days, but after lengthy discussions with my team, we’ve decided that playing best of five-set matches might be a bit too soon in the recovery process. We did everything we could to try to be ready in time.”
Highlight of Murray’s season
This is the heart tournament for Murray, who experienced unfathomable pressure every time Wimbledon rolled around, to be the one to break the jinx that had lasted more than 70 years for British players at their home Slam.
Finally, he did it.
And he’s said he always felt a special sort of nervousness, anticipation before this fortnight.
Here’s how he looked Saturday, when he played a practice set with Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.
The Brit played Wimbledon a year ago, knowing he wasn’t in good enough shape to go five sets. And not only did he not win, he ended up not playing the rest of the season. That had to have factored in.
Murray also wrote that he would start practicing on the hard courts right on Monday, with a view to a full return during the U.S. (and Canada) hard-court season.
He has signed on for the ATP 500 level event in Washington, D.C., And he also received a wild card into the Rogers Cup in Toronto.
Meanwhile, he’s for hire.