Miami—Andy Murray withdrew from the Miami Open on Tuesday after suffering a “freak” groin injury which flared over the weekend.
The three-time Grand Slam winner, who had been granted a wildcard into the event as he works his way back from injury, arrived in Miami last week and trained without a problem on Thursday and Friday.
However the 33-year-old Scot woke early Saturday with pain in his groin which left him struggling to walk.
Although Murray said the problem had since improved, he was not fit enough to play.
“I have no idea what I did,” Murray told the Miami Herald. “It’s one of those freak things. Each day it has gotten progressively better, but it’s not enough. I have not practiced since Friday.”
Murray, a two-time winner in Miami and finalist in 2012 and 2015, could not hide his disappointment at his latest injury setback.
“I am really gutted,” Murray said. “This is a place I have done so much training over the years. It’s like my second home.
“Last time I played here was 2016 and so much has happened. In 2017 I had elbow issues, last few years various issues with my hip. Last year, the day before I was supposed to travel here COVID stopped the tennis tour.
“Miami’s been a place that has given me a lot, but this just wasn’t meant to be.”
Murray is one of several star names to have withdrawn from the Miami event.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic all pulled out of the men’s draw while former world number one Serena Williams withdrew on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Venus Williams crashed out of the Miami Open on Tuesday, losing her first round game in straight sets to Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan.
Diyas advanced to a second round meeting with Swiss 11th seed Belinda Bencic after completing a 6-2, 7-6 (12/10) victory in 1hr 28min on the Hard Rock Stadium’s Grandstand court.
The round of 128 defeat is the 40-year-old Williams’ earliest exit in Miami since she made her debut in the tournament in 1997.
After Diyas raced through the first set, Williams fought back in the second, breaking her Kazakh opponent’s serve in the 12th game to force a tie break.
Williams saved three match points to extend the tie break but handed Diyas a fourth match point with a double fault which she converted to complete victory.
“I’m very happy with the win, especially against such a legend as Venus—I looked up to her when I was little,” the 27-year-old from Almaty said.
Diyas set up the victory behind an accurate service game, winning 61 percent of her first serve points, and varying play cleverly to pull Williams around the court.
Tuesday marked the start of main draw action at this year’s tournament, which is being held after the Covid-19 pandemic wiped out the 2020 event.