Andy Murray admits Wimbledon swansong is in doubt

Andy Murray admits Wimbledon swansong is in doubt

Andy Murray’s Wimbledon swansong looks in serious doubt after he was forced to retire from his second-round match at the cinch Championships with a back injury.

The two-time SW19 champion will undergo a scan to determine the extent of the problem which left his right leg numb just before he walked on to Centre Court at Queen’s Club to face Australian Jordan Thompson.

Murray was clearly in pain during the warm-up and his right leg and hip seemed to buckle underneath him as he served for the first time in the match.

The 37-year-old had extensive treatment after three games on his right hip – which he had replaced in 2019 – his right knee and his lower back.

He tried to play on but was eventually forced to call it a day, shaking hands with Thompson at 4-1 down before exiting a stunned Centre Court, upon which he has been crowned champion a record five times, for probably the last time.

With Wimbledon less than a fortnight away, Murray’s participation appears unlikely although he refused to rule out one last appearance before his anticipated retirement later this year.

“During my pre-match warm-up I was pretty uncomfortable and then I walked up the stairs, just before going on the court, I didn’t have the normal strength in my right leg. It was not a usual feeling,” he said.

“Then the first two balls I hit in the warm-up, my right leg, it was, like, so uncoordinated. I had no coordination. Then, yeah, my right leg just was not working properly.

“In hindsight I wish I hadn’t gone on there because it was pretty awkward for everyone.

“There is nothing I could do, and then there is part of you that wants to go out there and see if it gets better, you know, and maybe feel better with a bit of treatment or something, but that wasn’t the case.”

Pressed on whether he fears missing Wimbledon, Murray added: “I wouldn’t know.

“Like all tennis players, we have degenerative sort of joints and stuff in the back but it’s all predominantly been left-sided for me my whole career. I have never had too many issues with the right side.

“So maybe there is something that can be done between now and then, you know, to help the right side.

“I will get scans tomorrow and get it rechecked and see if there’s anything that can be done.”

Thompson has, almost unwittingly, played a major part in Murray’s recent history at the west London tournament.

It was in 2017 when Murray, then world number one and defending the last of his five titles, was beaten by lucky loser Thompson as the hip problems which would eventually require drastic surgery were really beginning to bite.

Now the 30-year-old might have seen the three-time grand slam winner off for good.

“I could see he had a problem in the warm-up and then his first serve,” said Thompson.

“I thought ‘hit the ball in and make him run’. I actually learned that from him. I learned a lot of things watching him play, so it’s an honour to share the court with him but it’s just sad that it ended like that.”

On Thursday the focus will shift to new British number one Jack Draper, who has the small matter of a match against defending Queen’s, Wimbledon and French Open champion Carlos Alcaraz.

“I mean, it’s probably one of the biggest tests in tennis right now,” said Draper, 22.

“He has a huge pedigree. He obviously won here last year, won at Wimbledon. You know, he’s setting records all over the place.

“He’s an incredibly good, young player. I think it will be a really exciting match-up.”

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