Andy Murray has withdrawn from the Battle of the Brits third place play-off as a precautionary measure after having some ‘issues with his shins’, tournament organisers confirmed.
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, was due to face British No. 3 Cam Norrie on Sunday after narrowly falling to Dan Evans in the semi-finals on Saturday.
He will still be on court, however, to coach his replacement James Ward.
Top seed Evans will face British No. 2 Kyle Edmund in the final.
Murray, who has been plagued by physical problems in recent years, did not want to risk further injury by playing a fifth match in six days.
It’s been an encouraging week for the former world No. 1, who won two of his four matches while taking a set off both Evans and Edmund in his only defeats of the week.
The 33-year-old said after his loss to Evans: ‘I’ve just not been able to sustain a high level for long enough.
‘My game is there, I just need more time to practise and prepare and I’ll get there.
‘It was a big step up this week from what I’ve been doing, and I coped with it physically relatively well, I thought I moved better with each match and was a bit more confident. It was a positive week.
‘Some of the tennis this week has been very encouraging, I just wasn’t able to do it for long enough in the matches.
‘That’s something that when I was up at the top of the game and competing regularly, my level was the same throughout whereas I’m struggling to maintain that, probably just with lack of matches.’
Murray is set to prepare for the US Open by competing in Washington when the ATP Tour resumes in August.
He said he will be prioritising the Grand Slam events, with the French Open starting in late September.
The ATP has devised a packed revised calendar for when tennis returns, with events in Madrid and Rome immediately following the US Open to give players extra opportunity to prepare for Roland Garros.
And Murray suggested the new schedule will see events facing life without many of the biggest stars.
‘It’s not safe for players to go from the semi-finals or final in New York… and then play in Madrid at altitude on clay when they haven’t competed for a long time,’ he added.
‘You’re going to have the potential where a lot of top players are not competing at many of the biggest events.’
Rankings points have been another hot topic and Murray suggested adopting a temporary two-year system.
He said: ‘It might be worth looking at a two-year ranking for the time being maybe so that guys who have done well last year and are sort of not really able to defend their points properly aren’t kind of punished.’
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