LONDON (AFP) – Andy Murray’s hopes of being fit enough to play at Wimbledon have taken a fresh hit after he pulled out of his planned comeback next week in the Netherlands.
The former world number one, who has not played a competitive match since he was knocked out of the Wimbledon quarter-finals last July due to a hip injury, underwent surgery in Australia in January after pulling out of the Australian Open.
“Unfortunately I won’t be ready to play in Hertogenbosch,” the British three-time Grand Slam champion posted on his Facebook page.
“I was really excited to play there for the first time but I’m still not quite ready to return. I am still aiming to play in the coming weeks, but I want to be 100 percent when I do return. Thanks as always for the support.”
Having only just returned to the practice courts, Murray faces a race against time to be fit for Wimbledon, which starts on July 2.
The 31-year-old will make a decision on whether he will enter Queen’s, in London, which begins on June 18, next week.
“Andy Murray has to withdraw from the Libema Open. The former world number one has not recovered in time from his hip operation in January and will have to postpone his comeback on the ATP tour,” said a statement on the tournament’s website.
Murray, who has slipped to 47th in the world, said in a promotional video released Tuesday that he was “getting closer” to playing again following his frustratingly long injury lay-off.
“It’s been very slow,” he said in the video. “I’ve been out getting close to a year now, which is a lot longer than I think me and any of my team kind of expected at the beginning but I’m getting closer to playing again.
“I’ve started training a few days ago. I’m hoping to make my comeback during the grass-court season.”
Murray, who has won two Wimbledon titles, said he was hoping to play at the Grand Slam event and hopes to be in contention again.
“I’m hoping I’ll be there but Roger Federer has obviously got a phenomenal record on grass,” said Murray. “He’ll definitely be up there as one of the favourites,” he added.