Here is why Andy Murray withdrew from Wimbledon singles but will play in doubles

Andy Murray has decided not to play in the Wimbledon singles, instead making his farewell to the All England Club in the doubles alongside older brother Jamie.


Murray, who is planning to retire later this year, had surgery 10 days ago on a back issue.

The 37-year-old, who won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, was due to play Tomas Machac of the Czech Republic on Centre Court on Tuesday.

Former world number one Murray had a cyst close to his spinal cord removed on Saturday because it was causing nerve pain in his right leg.

"Unfortunately, despite working incredibly hard on his recovery since his operation just over a week ago, Andy has taken the very difficult decision not to play the singles this year," Murray's team said in a statement.

"As you can imagine, he is extremely disappointed but has confirmed that he will be playing in the doubles with Jamie and looks forward to competing at Wimbledon for the last time."

The Murray brothers, who have never teamed up at the Championships, will play later this week. The first round of the men's doubles is scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, but Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton said the pair could even play on Friday.'

Wimbledon organisers said they were "sorry to hear" Murray was not playing in the singles.

"We are so looking forward to seeing you compete in the doubles and celebrating all the memories you have given us," a statement added.

How Murray's latest fitness issue unfolded

Murray has been giving himself as long as possible to be ready for what will be an emotional goodbye at the scene of some of his greatest triumphs, having also won Olympic gold on Centre Court at London 2012.

The Scot's plans have been disrupted by the back issue which flared up earlier this summer and forced him to retire from his match at Queen's against Australia's Jordan Thompson on 19 June after only five games.

But he has fought to be fit because he wants a bit of "closure" at the All England Club before stopping playing professionally.

On Sunday, Murray said the area where he had the operation was not sore, but added he still did not have 100 per cent feeling in his leg.

He trained with former British number one Kyle Edmund for more than an hour on Monday, leading 6-3 2-0 in a practice match before they stopped.

Afterwards, Murray said he would make a decision later that evening and announced on Tuesday morning - several hours before he was due to face Machac - that he would focus on the doubles.

Andy and 38-year-old Jamie represented Great Britain in doubles at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Club, when they lost in the first round.

They also played together at Beijing 2008 and Rio 2016, while memorably teaming up in Britain's victorious 2015 Davis Cup campaign.

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