Andy Murray has expressed his frustration after another setback as he was forced to withdraw from the Miami Open with a groin injury.
Murray had been granted a wildcard into the tournament and was due to face Lloyd Harris in the first round, but after going to sleep on Friday night he awoke with a soreness in his left groin that he described as a “freak” injury.
“I woke up in the middle of the night at about 2:30, rolled over and felt like my groin was a bit sore,” he said. “When I got up at six in the morning to go to the toilet, I was in a lot of pain walking. Any time I extended my left hip and stuff, it was a struggle to put weight on it. I have no idea what happened. It wasn’t like I got injured in practice, in the gym or anything like that. It’s just a freak thing and I don’t know exactly why it happened or what the problem is yet.”
Murray believes the injury is not major but it marks yet another dispiriting setback. Murray says he started the year confident of competing with the best players again, but he contracted Covid in January as he was due to travel to the Australian Open.
The illness not only forced him to withdraw from the tournament, but it naturally set him back and he struggled to find rhythm during the ATP indoor swing. After withdrawing from Dubai last week because of the birth of his fourth child, Miami marked Murray’s final opportunity on hard courts before the clay-court season begins. He had travelled there last Wednesday in order to be prepared.
Another injury will lead inevitably to further questions about whether Murray’s body can handle the rigours of the tour, which he says would be more convincing if he was struggling to recover after long matches.
“All of the indications with the gym work and my practising and training and stuff that I’m doing suggests that I’m fine but then I keep getting these things,” he said.
“This is something very minor. I have been fit for the last six months, really, with training and everything, and got unfortunate with coronavirus, but players miss tournaments all of the time with little injuries and stuff.”
Murray has shown remarkable patience to continually return to the tedium of rehab after four years of injury setbacks but there is a limit to even his patience. “I really just want to be on the court competing. I can’t be bothered doing another eight or 10 weeks of rehab. The reason I am doing all of that stuff is to get back on the court and compete. That was why I was really gutted about missing Australia because I had done so much work to get into the position to be ready for that off the back of the last few years.
“It’s hard work and now I am finding it harder to get motivated to do all the rehab and everything if I’m not going to be able to compete in the biggest events. That is why this one was like: ‘Fucking hell, just give me a break for this one event so that I can compete against these guys at a big tournament and see what I am still able to do.’”