A disappointed Andy Murray announced his withdrawal from the World Tour Finals on Tuesday. (Kristy Wigglesworth/AP))
LONDON -- Andy Murray withdrew from the World Tour Finals on Tuesday, citing a groin strain that he suffered in training a week before the tournament and re-aggravated in his straight-set loss to David Ferrer on Monday. Doctors had advised him to take a week to 10 days of total rest, but he simply ran out of time to recover.
"I knew in my head I wasn't ready to play and wasn't right to play," a somber Murray said. "But you always want to try. I wanted to come into the big competitions being there to win the event, and there's no chance I would have been ready to win the tournament here. So in hindsight it was maybe the wrong decision, but you also want to try and give yourself an opportunity, if you can.
"I was never going to feel great today. It was one of those things where you kind of hope that things are going to get better, but reality was that wasn't ever going to happen. I woke up this morning still sore, came in, I was going to hit at 1:00. ... I was just trying to find reasons why I should try to play.
"But there was no real positive sort of coming out and playing because yesterday I was really unhappy on the court. I wasn't enjoying it at all. This is one of the best tournaments in the year, one that I think me and all of the players look forward to playing. I couldn't give anywhere near my best. So that's what was disappointing. It would probably do myself more damage by playing than not."
Murray came into London having scheduled five tournaments in the fall season, a move that he may regret. While the wins in Asia gave him confidence, his relentless training took its toll.
"Roger [Federer] and Novak [Djokovic] both took a large break after the U.S. Open. Rafa [Nadal] took one after Asia. Maybe me trying to get ready for Basel was too soon," Murray said. "That's something I probably need to learn from because I had played a lot of matches."
It's a huge disappointment for fans in London, who were looking forward to finally seeing the Brit make a qualified charge for the title. But his fall-scheduling decision aside, Murray has always been more focused on the long-term than the short-term. He made it clear that his primary concern at the moment was to rest his body so he could properly prepare for the Australian Open.
"It might seem to you guys like it's a long time away. But the Australian Open is six, seven weeks away," Murray said. "I could mess up my preparation for that, for the beginning of the year. That off‑season is so important for me, and has been for the last few years of getting myself in shape. It's one of the few times when you can have an actual training block."