Down to the wire: Andy Murray set to make final call on Wimbledon participation on Monday evening

Sunday, 30 June 2024 at 17:16
Chances are that Andy Murray's court allocation will be confirmed by the time he makes his decision on whether or not he will play at the 2024 Wimbledon Championships on Tuesday as the former World No.1 as expected sends it down to the wire.
Murray will face Tomas Machac on Tuesday with the likelihood being that the former World No.1 due to the mooted farewell and being one of the greatest athletes the country has produced sporting wise no mind tennis would be on Centre Court. Whether or not that is a good idea given the Jordan Thompson display at Queen's remains to be seen, but Murray is leaving it to the last minute and won't run the risk likely in the same way as against Thompson.
He said during his press conference on Sunday that his back is fine, it is more that he is lacking sensation in his leg which was the main issue against Thompson. So he can still serve fine and the back is not the issue.
‘It went pretty well, but I still don’t have 100 per cent sort of feeling and sensation in my leg yet. It’s getting better every single day. Like I said a few days ago, I want to give it every single chance that I can to get there," said Murray on Sunday during a lengthy press conference transcribed by Metro.
‘I’m going to play another set again tomorrow. I’m doing some physical testing in the morning to see sort of how far off I am from a physical perspective. Then I will probably make a decision tomorrow evening after that.
‘I have no back pain, which is obviously really good. But the nature of the problem that I had was, yeah, I had quite a large cyst, which was squashing, compressing my nerves, which then obviously lost not all but a lot of control in my right leg. That is getting better. But it’s kind of like if you sleep on your arm funny, you wake up and you’ve got a dead arm. It’s kind of like that feeling. But it goes on for a lot longer because the nerve has been kind of squashed and a little bit damaged for a number of days.
‘How long that takes to regain its full sort of function again is impossible to say. For some people it takes months; for some people it’s weeks. So, yeah, I don’t know exactly how long it’s going to take. But all of the work that we’re doing, the testing we’re doing, is improving every single day with the training and the practicing. It’s not like I’m playing tennis and it’s taking a step backwards.
Andy Murray (pictured) is prepared to run the risk of a late withdrawal from the tournament in order to give himself the chance to play.
Andy Murray (pictured) is prepared to run the risk of a late withdrawal from the tournament in order to give himself the chance to play.

Everyday it is more likely that I will play - Murray

But despite that he says he is getting better and better everyday with doubles at the very least. Murray though said that even playing in that has its own challenges.
‘It’s been getting better everyday. I’m hopeful that that continues and it’s going to be enough to be on the court on Tuesday. I might get the exact terminology wrong, but I had a decompression of spinal stenosis in my back, which is not just an issue with the cyst as such, but the cyst is what was causing the issues with my leg, pressing on the nerve.
‘The cyst got removed. I still have stitches in my back now. Yeah, the actual area where I had the operation is not sore. It’s the leg and the function of my leg that will determine whether or not I’m able to play, yeah.
‘Each day it becomes more and more likely that I’ll be able to play properly. Obviously with doubles, although you’re covering less distance and less court, you still need to be able to move pretty explosively.
He said that the risk is there that the wound could reopen again which would be the issue but that he is willing to go through it to play one more time. "My spine is strong and stable. The inflammation is coming down every single day. There’s been minimal disruption to the muscles and everything. Yeah, the issue would be if the wound, which is extremely small, it was a keyhole operation, if that was to reopen, I would then have to go and have that sorted.
‘But I’m okay with that, with that risk. If I was worried about doing more damage to my spine or something like that, yeah, that would be very different. But I’m okay with a few stitches coming loose or whatever. And what am I looking to get from it? Well, the opportunity to play here again.
‘I mean, for the last time, yeah, that’s kind of it. Like, this is a place that’s obviously been really good to me over the years.

Wants to go out on his own terms with no Wimbledon return planned

He later confirmed also that the idea is that the Olympic Games will be his farewell and he won't play at Wimbledon again if he doesn't get through this so the onus now is on the Brit to be ready.
‘My idea of that would be, I probably would have seen that happening probably at Wimbledon. Obviously I have the Olympics coming up. But, yeah, I would love the opportunity to play here one more time. Yeah, that’s what I’m looking to get out of it. Whether afterwards I feel like that’s the right thing to do, it was the right thing to do or not, I don’t know. But right now I feel like I want that opportunity.
‘My back doesn’t look good on a scan. It’s not in an amazing place. However, the cyst I think was very unfortunate, where that showed up, because you can have cysts all over your body around degenerative joints and stuff, and they cause no problems. But the fact that it happened to be on my spinal cord was tough, yeah.
‘I just want the opportunity to play one more time out there hopefully on Centre Court, and I don’t know, feel that buzz. Like last year, I wasn’t planning on it being my last year on the Tour.
‘I wanted to come back and play again, whereas this year I have no plans to do that. Yeah, it’s coming to the end of my career and I want to have that opportunity to play here again.’

Andy Murray to press right now: « the operation on the back wasn’t insignificant.(…) I don’t know if it’s gonna be enough, I don’t have 100% feeling and sensation in my leg yet but it’s getting better. » Says he still wants to give himself every chance. Decision tomorrow evening


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