Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has vowed to return stronger than ever after writing off the rest of the tennis season for the sake of his injured back.
If Murray plays again this year it will be an unexpected bonus, with the Scot sure to be careful with his rehabilitation following the minor operation he will undergo on Monday.
The greatest season of the 26-year-old’s career was expected to end with a warm welcome back to London, at the ATP World Tour Finals in November, but that event is barely six weeks away and Murray will not be gambling on his fitness.
Rather than play on and risk aggravating the problem which forced him to miss the French Open earlier this year, the world No. 3 and his team have decided the time has come to step back from the ATP tour.
Murray thanked well-wishers after receiving a host of Twitter messages following his announcement last night.
“Thanks so much for all the nice messages,” he wrote. “Having operation on Monday . . . Will let everyone know how it goes . . . I’ll be back stronger.”
He has carefully managed the back injury since returning from his short lay-off at Queen’s Club in June, winning that title and following up by triumphing at Wimbledon to end the 77-year wait for a British men’s singles champion at the All England Club.His management company, 77, confirmed Murray is to take a break.
“Next week, Andy is set to undergo minor back surgery in an effort to clear up a long-standing back problem,” a statement read.
“The issue flared up again during the Rome Masters this year when Andy was forced to retire and he sought advice from a range of specialists in May.”
“After a successful return on the more forgiving grass courts, Andy enjoyed success at Queen’s and Wimbledon, but after recently playing on hard-courts and clay, Andy once again sought medical advice about solving the issue once and for all.
“The aim is to be fully fit for the new season.”
His final contribution in a historic season for British tennis looks set to be his telling role in guiding Great Britain back into the World Group of the Davis Cup.
Murray won two singles matches and partnered Linlithgow’s Colin Fleming to a doubles victory as Great Britain defeated Croatia 4-1 in Umag last week.
Providing all runs smoothly with his surgery and recovery, Murray should be back on court and targeting the Australian Open in January, before returning to Davis Cup duty at the end of the month when Leon Smith’s GB team face the United States.