Andy Murray concerned by lack of competitive matches after pulling out of Miami Open due to groin injury

Andy Murray says he needs to get a run of competitive matches together to see whether his body is still capable of playing at the highest level or not.

The 33-year-old Scot arrived in Miami last week and was preparing for the tournament but started developing a groin pain while sleeping on Friday night and has not practised since.

Murray says the injury is similar to the one he suffered after beating Yoshihito Nishioka in five sets at the US Open, but he admits being “puzzled” by his latest setback and hopes it is not an indication his body can no longer cope with the demands of professional tennis.

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“I have obviously been training a lot in the last few months, doing significantly more than what I did on Friday, so it’s a bit puzzling. I don’t really understand it,” said Murray.

“My physios don’t really understand it either. I wouldn’t want to say exactly what it is or where it’s coming from until I get it looked at more. But it also feels like one of those things that potentially in a few days I might be absolutely fine as well. I don’t know where it came from and why it happened.”

He continued: “I know that Miami for me is a place that I love playing and I was really excited to come here. It was the next tournament to really excite me and motivate me. It was good to be back here after my last time playing here in 2016.

“I was pumped to come and have the opportunity to play here, I felt good and travelled over here, practised and had no issues and then this happened. It is obviously very frustrating and a bit demoralising. It’s gutting.”

It’s another blow for Murray since he underwent a hip resurfacing operation in January 2019, returning to the match court that summer.

He missed the start of last season because of an issue related to the hip and then struggled at the end of 2020 with tendinitis in his psoas muscle, which connects the spine to the femur.

Murray had a strong training block ahead of the new season and was feeling very positive only for an ill-timed bout of coronavirus to force him to miss the Australian Open. He instead played his first tournament of the year at a second-tier Challenger in Italy, reaching the final, before winning his first ATP match for six months in Rotterdam.

“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.”

Andy Murray

Murray, who recently took a short break for the birth of his fourth child, has played just 16 matches since winning his 46th title in Antwerp in October 2019, which gave hope that he could write a remarkable late chapter in his trophy-laden career.

Asked whether this latest blow could be a sign that his body simply is not up to it, he said: “I guess it’s possible that is the case.

“I really need to get a run of tournaments and competitive matches to see whether my body is capable of doing it or not because right now I still really haven’t had that opportunity. All of the indications with the gym work and my practising and training that I’m doing suggests that I’m fine but then I keep getting these things. This is something very minor.

“I don’t know how deep to look into this one. I guess if it keeps me out for a long time, then I would probably think that way (unable to cope with top-level tennis). But if it’s only a few days and just the timing of it has meant that I have missed the tournament, then that is just bad luck. That is nothing to do with my physical capabilities.”

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The two-time Wimbledon champion has certainly had more than his fair share of bad luck and admitted the setbacks have taken their toll on his morale.

“I really just want to be on the court competing,” he said. “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.

“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, f****** 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.”

Murray says he won’t know just yet whether or not he will revise his plans ahead of the clay-court season until he finds out the cause of his latest injury.

“We know it’s not muscular because I have no strength deficit in all of the tests and everything that I am doing with the physios. It’s more like a non-contractile tissue problem,” said Murray.

“Strength wise I am fine and am in no pain when I am engaging my muscles. It’s when I am stretched into certain positions where it’s bad. I think that is a positive thing. I’ll just need to see what the results come back with and then speak with my team and try and come up with a plan.”

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