Andy Murray to miss French Open but Queen's and Wimbledon still targets

By Sports Desk May 15, 2021

Andy Murray will miss the French Open to give himself the best possible chance of being match-ready for Queen's Club and Wimbledon.

The decision was reached on Saturday – Murray's 34th birthday – as the three-time grand slam winner attempts to banish the lingering effects of a recent groin injury.

Murray will work on his fitness and his game in London over the coming weeks, preparing for an emotional return to action in front of a British crowd.

The grass-court season was cancelled in the UK last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Troubled by fitness issues, Murray has not played singles at Wimbledon since 2017, although in 2019 he entered men's doubles and mixed doubles, partnering Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Serena Williams in those events.

Murray travelled to Rome last week, initially with the sole purpose of practising against leading tour players at the Internazionali d'Italia, and he had a session with long-time rival and current world number one Novak Djokovic, playing a set.

The Scot and fellow Briton Liam Broady were then accepted into the doubles, winning a round before bowing out.

It was expected that Murray would play singles either in Geneva or Lyon in the coming week; however, word emerged that he had abandoned that plan as he reportedly turned down a wildcard to the Swiss tournament.

Now it can be confirmed that Murray will not head to Paris for the French Open either, choosing to focus his energy on the grass-court season.

Although Murray achieved success on clay at the height of his career, winning Masters 1000 titles in Madrid and Rome and reaching the 2016 French Open final, he has greater pedigree on grass, as his five Queen's Club titles and two Wimbledon triumphs have demonstrated.

Skipping the remainder of the clay-court season means Murray can focus on getting himself in the best possible shape for those events in London.

Murray underwent hip resurfacing surgery in January 2019 in a bid to give himself more years on tour. He lost in the second round of the US Open last year before being thrashed by Stan Wawrinka in round one of the French Open.

He was disappointed to miss the Australian Open at the beginning of this year after testing positive for COVID-19.

Related items

  • When will Andy Murray call it a day? Key questions answered as retirement looms When will Andy Murray call it a day? Key questions answered as retirement looms

    Andy Murray revealed on Wednesday that he is unlikely to play beyond this summer as retirement looms ever nearer.

    The three-time grand slam champion will be 37 in May and has won only two matches so far this season.

    Here, the PA news agency looks at when Murray might call it a day.

    Does he have a date in mind?

    It appears likely he does, although it would be a surprise if he announced it much in advance. Murray said last year he had an idea of when he would like to stop, and his poor form over the last few months has brought the issue into sharper focus.

    What about Wimbledon?

    Bowing out at the All England Club would seem the ideal scenario. The venue for his career-defining achievements, and in front of an adoring home crowd, would offer a fitting scene to bring this chapter to a close. But it may be a bit too soon.

    What are the other possibilities?

    Murray has already indicated he would like to play in another Olympics. His two singles gold medals mark him out from his peers and his run to the title in 2012 is arguably his best ever tournament. But this summer’s event will take place at Roland Garros, and it seems doubtful he would want his last event to be on clay. The US Open, the scene of his first grand slam title in 2012, is another possibility, while the Davis Cup finals group stage on home soil in September could also be an option.

    Will he definitely stop this year?

    That certainly appears to be the direction of travel but Murray has always found decision-making difficult and there is no bigger decision that this one. Should his form pick up markedly, it could well be that he decides to extend his career.

  • Jack Draper eases into the last eight in Acapulco Jack Draper eases into the last eight in Acapulco

    Jack Draper needed little more than an hour to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Mexican Open in Acapulco.

    The 22-year-old, who beat seventh seed Tommy Paul in the previous round, proved too strong for Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, winning 6-3 6-0 in 68 minutes.

    The British number three started strongly, breaking the world number 82 in his opening scoring game and threatening as he opened a 3-0 lead.

    Games went on serve as Nishioka fought to stay in touch at 5-3, but Draper served out to win the opening set in 42 minutes.

    He was barely troubled after that, again breaking Nishioka to start the second set.

    He broke twice more and stayed firm on his own serve to book a place in the last eight.

  • Andy Murray: I’m likely not going to play past this summer Andy Murray: I’m likely not going to play past this summer

    Andy Murray confirmed he is set to retire this summer after losing to Ugo Humbert in the second round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.

    Murray produced his best win for several months in the first round by seeing off Denis Shapovalov but fell to a 6-2 6-4 loss against 18th-ranked Frenchman Humbert.

    Speaking to reporters post-match, the 36-year-old said of his future: “I’m likely not going to play past this summer.

    “I get asked about it after every single match that I play, every single tournament that I play. I’m bored of the question, to be honest.

    “I’m not going to talk more about that between now and whenever the time comes for me to stop. But, yes, I don’t plan on playing much past this summer.”

    Murray has not won more than a single match at any tournament since August and, after beating Shapovalov, the Scot talked about trying to do his best “these last few months”.

    Murray has said previously he has an idea of when he would like to bow out, and he told Radio 4’s Today programme: “When the time is right I will probably say something before I play my last match and my last tournament.”

    While Wimbledon appears the most logical venue for Murray to call time on his glittering career, the Scot is tempted by another crack at the Olympics in Paris this summer.

    Murray is the only tennis player to have won back-to-back singles gold medals, in London and Rio, and he said: “Hopefully I can get the chance to compete at another one.”

    If the Scot does not qualifying by ranking – he has slipped down the standings to 67 – he could seek a spot in the draw as a previous champion.

    Murray dropped serve twice in succession in the opening set against Humbert and was unable to apply any real pressure on his opponent’s delivery, winning just seven return points during the contest.

    The second set was a little closer, but Murray cut a thoroughly frustrated figure, ranting at himself and smacking the umpire’s chair with his racket, as he attempted to trade with the clean-hitting Frenchman, who clinched victory after only an hour-and-a-half.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.