Andy Murray is hopeful of being fit for Wimbledon, but he faces a race against time to heal after he was forced to withdraw from Queen’s due to the abdominal injury he suffered in the Stuttgart final on Sunday.
After returning to London on Sunday night, Murray underwent a scan on Monday afternoon that confirmed his strained left abdominal muscle: “After having a scan this afternoon, an abdominal injury means I won’t be fit to compete at Queen’s this year,” said Murray, a five-time Queen’s champion, in a statement. “The tournament means a lot to me, and it’s disappointing not to compete, especially after playing some good matches on the grass already.”
Murray suffered the abdominal injury while serving early in the third set of his match against Matteo Berrettini. After the match, he said that he has never experienced such an injury before and he believed the injury was a consequence of his heavy load of matches over the past two weeks, with him also reaching the semi-final of the Surbiton challenger a week earlier.
From the satisfaction of producing some of his best tennis over the past few years in Stuttgart, Murray must now nurse an injury at the most inopportune time. Murray remains hopeful of competing at Wimbledon and although he will not play in Eastbourne, he may play an exhibition event at Hurlingham Club next week. Wimbledon begins on 27th June, a week later.
Meanwhile, Jack Draper continued his rise to the top levels of professional tennis as he achieved the biggest win of his young career at Queen’s, defeating world No 14 Taylor Fritz, the fourth seed, 6-3, 6-2 in the first round to secure his first ever top 20 win.
One year ago, Queen’s was the site of Draper’s first ATP tour breakthrough as he upset Jannik Sinner, then ranked 23rd, en route to the quarter-final.
A year later, 20-year-old Draper returns at a different point in his career. This week marks his top 100 debut, now world No 99, a distinction he earned after starting the year by winning four challenger titles and rising over 160 ranking places in the process.
“I’m very proud of myself, I have done a lot of work, I have known for a while my level has been good enough to compete at the highest level but there is one thing saying it and one thing getting wins at this level against players like Taylor, really happy and it gives me a lot of confidence,” said Draper.
On a day of mixed fortunes for home favourites, British No 1 Cameron Norrie was unable to follow up last year’s run to the final as he was defeated 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-4 by Grigor Dimitrov in the opening round.
According to Spanish agency EFE (link), French Open champion Rafael Nadal trained behind closed doors on grass in Mallorca on Monday, the site of next week’s ATP 250 event, as he attempts to return for Wimbledon after undergoing radiofrequency ablation treatment on his foot shortly after his victory in Paris.
At the Rothesay Classic in Birmingham Simona Halep, the second seed, reached the second round with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Lesia Tsurenko as she tries to return to the top of the game. Fresh off her first career WTA quarter-final in Nottingham, British No 3 Harriet Dart maintained her good form with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Camila Osorio.