Andy Murray, the world’s number two joined the exodus of big names absent from this year’s US Open, withdrawing from the tournament due to the hip injury that has bothered him since before Wimbledon.
The three-time Grand Slam champion looked emotional Saturday afternoon as he announced his decision at Flushing Meadows, where he had been training for the past week.
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“It’s too sore for me to win the tournament and ultimately that’s what I was here to try and do,” Murray said.
Murray’s participation had already been in doubt after he pulled out of the Masters 1000 events in Montreal and Cincinnati. He said the US Open had come too soon for him to have a real shot at winning the title.
“I tried obviously resting, rehabbing, to try and get myself ready here,” said Murray, who said he suffered the injury during his French Open semifinal loss to Stan Wawrinka in early June.
“We were hoping that by taking a few weeks off and resting and rehabbing and really reducing the load that I was putting through it that I would be OK by the time US Open came around, but unfortunately that’s not been the case,” he said.
Murray, 30, could now be forced to take the rest of the year off — as Novak Djokovic and Wawrinka have done — to enable the injury to fully heal.
“Obviously I spoke to a number of specialists about it to get the best advice possible,” Murray said. “Obviously when you speak to a lot, there is different views and opinions on what the best thing to do is moving forward, and that’s a decision I’ll need to take now.
“I’ll definitely make a decision on that in the next few days. That’s something that I’ll sit down and decide with my team. But I’ll decide on that in the next couple of days, for sure.”
Murray said there was no reason he could not get himself back to the form he showed in 2016, when he won Wimbledon and took the No 1 spot for the first time.
“I have been practicing here and (been) competitive in practice when I’m not moving close to how I can when I’m healthy,” he said.
Wawrinka, the defending champion, recently had surgery on his left knee, and Djokovic has a bad right elbow. Kei Nishikori, the 2014 runner-up, has an injured right wrist and 2016 Wimbledon runner-up Milos Raonic has a problem with his left wrist.
Add in Murray, and that means five of the top 11 men in the ATP rankings will be absent when the US Open starts Monday.
That leaves No. 1 seed Rafael Nadal and No. 3 Roger Federer as the two clear favorites for the men’s trophy. They were drawn Friday into the same half of the bracket, meaning they could only meet in the semifinals in New York.
Allan Bangirana is a freelance writer for Newslibre and Spur Magazine. He is also the co-founder of the Innovware project and a freelance consultant passionate about tech, programming, games and entertainment.