Wimbledon on tenterhooks as Andy Murray begins surgery rehab

Murray’s back issue flared up at Queen’s last week (Zac Goodwin/PA Wire File photo dated 19-06-2024 of Andy Murray receives treatment during his match against Jordan Thompson (not pictured) on day five of the cinch Championships at The Queen's Club, London. Picture date: Wednesday June 19, 2024. Issue date: (enter date here). PA Photo. See PA story (enter Topic Keyword). Photo credit should read Zac Goodwin/PA Wire)

The saga of Andy Murray’s back has dragged into another day, with uncertainty still rife about his participation at Wimbledon.

The ATP announced on social media that the two-time champion would miss the tournament because of surgery to remove a cyst on his back, but that was then hastily deleted.

In contrast, Murray’s Davis Cup captain, Leon Smith, then insisted there had been no tournament withdrawal from SW19 and the Scot was still clinging to the hope of playing competitively one last time on grass.

In terms of an official line from the Murray camp, the only missive on Monday morning was that no official decision had been made.

A statement said: “Following surgery on Saturday, Andy is continuing to work with his medical team to confirm when he will return to the court.

“At this stage, no decisions have been made and we will update further as soon as anything has been finalised.”

With the start of the singles just a week away, it is not clear how late the 37-year-old former world No1 will make a definitive call over his participation at his home grand slam.

He had been hopeful of playing both the singles and doubles, with brother Jamie, and Wimbledon officials have left a wildcard available for the pair should they choose to commit to the men’s event.

Both options are now hanging by a thread, although the fact the doubles get under way later might prove a more realistic target. That said, Murray may not see that necessarily as a befitting farewell on the courts where he twice won the title, as well as Olympic gold at London 2012.

It remains unclear as to whether Andy Murray will play at Wimbledon (AFP via Getty Images)
It remains unclear as to whether Andy Murray will play at Wimbledon (AFP via Getty Images)

He underwent the latest procedure when an issue reared its head during his warm-up against Jordan Thompson at Queen’s Club last week, forcing him to withdraw from the match early in the opening set.

The Briton complained of losing the use of his legs from the issue and underwent surgery on it in the hope of being patched up in time for Wimbledon.

The ATP post on X had read: “Andy Murray is sadly out of Wimbledon. Rest up and recover Andy, we’ll miss seeing you there.”

But Smith then said on the BBC: “He obviously went through a procedure yesterday and you have to wait and see now. My understanding is no decision has been made and let’s hope for the best for Andy.”

Should Murray not recover in time for Wimbledon, there is still the possibility of a career farewell at the Olympic Games in Paris next month, where Murray is entered into the singles but is also keen to play the doubles.

Dan Evans had been lined up as a possible partner, but he too suffered an injury at Queen’s following a nasty fall, forcing his tournament withdrawal. His recovery date is not currently known either.

Wimbledon have already been planning a variety of farewells for Murray. Chiefs remain tight-lipped on what that might entail, but said they were liaising with the player over the possible tributes.

Meanwhile, Tommy Paul became the first American winner of Queen’s since Sam Querrey in 2010, joining such illustrious countrymen as Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe and Pete Sampras on the honours board.

The win saw him rise to American No1 and he warned that the US contingent, which includes the likes of Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe were ready to make their mark on Wimbledon.

“Historically and now, the Americans like playing on grass,” he said. “We play an aggressive style, and I think it matches up well with the surface. We’re all turning our sights to Wimbledon and we’re going to be as ready as we can.”