ATP World Tour Finals 2011: ‘Unhappy’ Murray out with injury

British No1 Andy Murray withdraws from the season-ending ATP World Tour finals in London due to a groin injury

andy murray
Andy Murray moved up to No3 in the world rankings last month Photo: Marianne Bevis

andy murray

The announcement that has been on the cards since Andy Murray’s straight-sets loss to David Ferrer in his first match at the ATP World Tour Finals came late this afternoon in a hastily-called press conference.

After extensive discussions with his team””almost two hours, he said””Murray made the reluctant decision to pull out of the event with a groin injury.

He delayed the decision pending a scheduled practice at 1pm at the O2 Arena on Tuesday but when he did not appear, most expected the worst.

“I was going to hit at 1pm, we chatted about what I should do. I had some food, spoke more about it. I was just trying to find reasons why I should try and play.

“Yesterday, I was really unhappy on the court. I wasn’t enjoying it at all. I couldn’t give anywhere near my best. So that’s what was disappointing.”

The injury was sustained within days of returning to the UK from the Paris Masters, where he lost a long, tough match against fellow World Tour Finalist, Tomas Berdych. He felt a sharp pain in the groin during practice””a strain unconnected with any former physical problems””but hoped to be recovered in time for London.

The severity of the problem only became apparent as he struggled to find his form in his opener against a dogged Ferrer and called for a medical time out after losing the first set. He afterwards confirmed that he was not certain to continue in the tournament.

Despite clearly being devastated by this blow to an end-of-season that had him tipped as one of the favourites for the title””he won three straight tournaments in the Far East this autumn””he is clearly still confident about his prospects for going one better in the Australian Open than his runner-up place last year.

“The Australian Open is six, seven weeks away. I could mess up my preparation for that. That off-season is so important to me and has been for the last few years of getting myself in shape.”

If there was one lesson to learn from this blow, it had to do with planning his schedule more carefully.

“If you look at the other guys that played loads of matches this year, you know, Roger and Novak both took a large break after the US Open. Rafa took one after Asia. Maybe me trying to get ready for Basel was to soon. That’s something I probably need to learn from because I had played a lot of matches.”

His place in Round Robin Group A will be taken by Serb Janko Tipsaravic, who will now play compatriot and favourite for the group, Novak Djokovic, on Friday.

The two Davis Cup colleagues have been practice partners so far this week and revealed that they plan to holiday together after the tournament””though maybe that will change if Tipsarevic beats his friend for the first time in their careers.

Before then, though, Tipsarevic has to play Berdych tomorrow in what will be their third meeting of the year. The Czech won their most recent match in Paris a fortnight ago but Tipsarevic has won all four of their other encounters.

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