'Sad to see': Tennis fans stunned by Andy Murray announcement

·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Andy Murray, pictured here speaking to the media during a press conference.
Andy Murray speaks to the media during a press conference. (Photo by Oscar Gonzalez/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Andy Murray has made the stunning decision to skip the French Open so he can be fully fit for Wimbledon.

The former World No.1 made his return from a groin injury with a training week and two doubles matches in Rome this week on clay.

He had been expected to play singles next week, but is still feeling some discomfort and has headed back home for more rehab.

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He will now begin training on his favourite surface of grass, with full fitness for Wimbledon now the clear goal.

Murray had been planning to take a wild card into one of the ATP tournaments in Geneva or Lyon next week.

However it emerged on Saturday that he had turned one down for the Swiss event, raising serious questions about his prospects of playing at Roland Garros.

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The Scot, who has played just one match on clay since 2017, had entered qualifying for the grand slam but could also have been given a wild card had he proved his fitness.

It is yet another setback for Murray, who turned 34 on Saturday and has played just three tour-level singles matches this year.

He suffered an untimely bout of coronavirus that prevented him travelling to the Australian Open in January.

He then picked up the groin injury in his sleep ahead of the Miami Open in March.

Murray's next tournament is due to be at Queen's Club on June 14, although there is an ATP event the previous week in Stuttgart and a second-tier Challenger in Nottingham that he could seek entry to.

Andy Murray and wife Kim, pictured here after winning Wimbledon in 2013.
Andy Murray and wife Kim after winning Wimbledon in 2013. (Photo credit should read BOB MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images)

The 34-year-old had a number of practice sessions with several leading players in Rome, including Novak Djokovic.

He gained entry into the doubles draw with compatriot Liam Broady and played two matches - losing to Kevin Krawietz and Horia Tecau on Thursday.

Speaking to Press Association afterwards, Murray had appeared positive.

“I did pretty well physically for the first points and practice sets at this level for a long time," he said.

"I was happy with that and hopefully will keep building the next few weeks.”

Fans were left stunned by the news of his French Open withdrawal, with many predicting the three-time grand slam winner will announce his retirement after a swansong at Wimbledon.

The Scot won two of his three career grand slam titles at the All England Club in 2013 and 2016.

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