Andy Murray is in a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon after suffering an injury scare in the Stuttgart Open final against Matteo Berrettini.
The former World No.1 and three-time grand slam champion went down 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to his Italian opponent on Sunday.
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But despite the brilliant week, there are now concerns about Murray's fitness ahead of Wimbledon.
The 35-year-old required treatment on court by the trainer for an abdominal injury that hampered him throughout the match.
"I don't know the severity of it. I need to have it checked out and hopefully everything will be alright," Murray said after the match.
"I had some pain in the abdomen when I was serving (second half of the match). That's never happened before.
"I won't know anything until I get it checked out. It's tough to say anything about the next weeks."
With Wimbledon starting in two weeks on June 27, time is ticking for Murray to regain match fitness.
"I've played a lot of matches, probably the most I've played on grass since 2016 (and his second Wimbledon title)," he said.
"It's been a long time since I've played nine matches in 14 days. So it's probably normal that I feel some stuff in my body."
Murray described reaching his second final of the season after Sydney in January as "a good week".
"It was not the way I would have wanted to finish. I felt I was playing well enough to win," he said.
Fans were left gutted that Murray's participation at Wimbledon is now in doubt.
The British star had been hit by a groin problem earlier this year having also had career-saving hip surgery in 2019.
After nearly 3 months out, Matteo Berrettini wins the title in Stuttgart on grass. 6-4 5-7 6-3 over Andy Murray
Tough finish for Murray, with an injury issue in left hip/groin that left him unable to serve full force, but an impressive week from both men
Watch out Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/kUWhenRcq3
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) June 12, 2022
oh very sad today.
Really Andy should just do retirement and enjoy his days. Honestly.
— Lizzie Rynne 💙 (@_MMaritima) June 12, 2022
Now ranked 47!!!!!! Well done Andy!! So proud!! Sad how it ended but you rock!!
— JoannaPerry (@JoannaPerry75) June 12, 2022
What a week! Amazing seeing him back where he belongs in a final! More to come!
— Dawn Third (@dawn3rd) June 12, 2022
Hope to see you in Wimbledon, Andy 🥺
— Jem (@iAmButASmallFry) June 12, 2022
Shame he's pulled an ab. Let's see how quickly he can recover. Assume @QueensTennis is out of the question. Focus on wimby.
— Political Jewk box. (@great_nads) June 12, 2022
Andy Murray loses the first final he’s played since 2016 but no disgrace in losing in three-sets too Matteo Berrettini, last year’s Wimbledon finalist. Fingers crossed the injury isn’t serious. https://t.co/KD1HpfE1pf
— Neil McMahon (@NeilMcMahon) June 12, 2022
Matteo Berrettini back in form ahead of Wimbledon
Berrettini showed signs of recapturing the form that took him to the Wimbledon final last year, winning the Stuttgart Open in his first tournament in three months.
The Italian hadn't played since Indian Wells in March because of a hand injury which forced him to miss the entire clay-court swing.
“It was the last thing that I imagined when I came here,” Berrettini said of winning the title on his return to the tour.
Speaking about Murray's injury, Berrettini said: “This is not the way that we wanted to finish the match.
“He showed us so many times how to come back.”
Berrettini is now 6-3 in career finals with his second career Stuttgart title, while Murray is 46-24 in his 70th career final.
Murray was chasing his first title since 2019. It was the first time he had played a singles final on grass since winning Wimbledon in 2016.
Meanwhile, tournament organisers said on Sunday that an investigation had begun after Nick Kyrgios said he faced racist abuse from the crowd in his semi-final loss to Murray on Saturday.
“No discriminating actions by the spectators are accepted,” organisers said in e-mailed comments.
“We have expressed our regret towards Nick Kyrgios and his team and assured that any kind of discrimination is unacceptable.
"The incident is currently under investigation.”
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