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Rest my priority, says exhausted Murray after pulling out of event

 

By Simon Kane

Andy Murray will prioritise rest before beginning his preparations for his next tournament in Cincinnati in just over a week.

The three-time grand slam champion pulled out of the Citi Open ahead of his scheduled quarter-final clash with Australian Alex de Minaur in Washington on Friday night.

The former world number one cited exhaustion for his decision following a gruelling week that had seen him taken to three sets in all three of his matches and spend more than eight hours on court.

The 31-year-old, who only finished his third-round win against Marius Copil at 3am on Friday morning, said in a statement on the ATP website: “I won’t be able to play my match tonight. I’m exhausted after playing so much over the past four days, having not competed on the hard courts for 18 months.

“I also need to be careful and to listen to my body as I come back from a long-term injury. I’m gutted not to be playing and I’d like to thank the tournament and all the fans.”

Tournament director Keely O’Brien had earlier caused controversy with comments encouraging Murray to play.

With Murray regarded as one of the great fighters in tennis, and given the delicate nature of his recovery from hip surgery, the comments seemed particularly ill-judged.

Neither Murray nor his team have responded publicly but it is understood they were distinctly unimpressed.

Murray had earlier announced he would not be playing in next week’s Rogers Cup.

He will instead play next at the Masters event in Cincinnati, which begins a week on Monday.

Belfast Telegraph

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