Ex-champ Murray withdraws from final Wimbledon singles

Sir Andy Murray will bow out of Wimbledon playing doubles with his brother, after reluctantly calling time on his bid to line up in a farewell singles appearance.

The two-time champ, who ended a 77-year-long wait for a Briton to win their home tournament when he claimed the first of two titles on the SW19 lawns in 2013, pulled out hours before he was due on Centre Court to play his first-round tie.

However, Murray insisted he will be fit to play doubles with Jamie - himself a doubles finalist at Wimbledon - in what will be his final appearance at the championships.

The brothers' first match in the draw, sure to be on Centre Court later this week, will be against Australians Rinky Hijikata and John Peers.

The 37-year-old is expected to quit this season after a decorated career that brought him three grand slam titles, the world No.1 ranking, a knighthood, two Olympic Games gold medals and Davis Cup success.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray in full flight at Wimbledon during his heyday, before a hip injury affected his potency. (AP PHOTO)

The five-time Australian Open finalist underwent surgery recently to remove a spinal cyst which was compressing his nerves and made him lose control and power in his right leg.

"I slept on it, I told my team and my family that I didn't think I was going to play just based on how I felt yesterday," said Murray.

"I practised pretty well and I was playing pretty good, I just wasn't happy with how my leg was feeling.

"I ran around at home a bit this morning when I got up and it just wasn't where I wanted it to be. It's probably a few days too soon. But I worked extremely hard to at least give myself a chance to play.

"I obviously practised with my brother today and I look forward to playing the doubles."

Murray was due to face Czech Tomas Machac on Tuesday (Wednesday AEST), but that match was moved.

As part of the knock-on effect, Thanasi Kokkinakis met Felix Auger-Aliassime on No.2 Court, one of the major outside courts.

"Andy - we're sorry to hear you won't be playing singles this year," Wimbledon said on social media.

"But we are so looking forward to seeing you compete in the doubles and celebrating all the memories you have given us."

Murray's decision means his last win and loss on British grass were both against Australians, at Queen's Club last month.

The Scot beat Alexei Popyrin in his 1,000th tour-level singles match, then quit due to the injury that forced his operation while trailing 4-1 in the first set against Jordan Thompson.

with Reuters