By: Aidan Kohn-Murphy
After Andy Murray finally won his third-round match at 3 a.m. on Friday, he broke down into tears. It was emotional match, and Murray’s year-long comeback has been incredible.
Competing in the Citi Open has been challenging for Murray and other players, especially since the rain delays pushed matches back. Players had to play multiple matches in one day. And since Murray is recovering from hip surgery, he can’t continue playing multiple matches in one day. So, the three-time Grand Slam Champion decided to withdraw from the Citi Open and the Rogers Cup due to exhaustion. It’s a shame Murray’s hardcourt return was ruined because of fatigue.
“I’m exhausted after playing so much over the past four days, having not competed on the hard courts for 18 months,” Murray told BBC Sport. “I also need to be careful and to listen to my body as I come back from a long-term injury.”
The rain put the Citi Open in a tough positions throughout the week. Indeed, you can’t play tennis in the rain. At the same time, though, players can’t compete until 3 a.m. and play the next day.
It’s been raining every day since Monday, and countless matches have been suspended. Suspended matches compress the tournament’s play time. The Citi Open must end on Sunday to allow players to compete in the Rogers Cup — which begins in Toronto on August 4.
As a result of this compression, players like Noah Rubin had to play two matches on Thursday. First, Rubin beat No. 2 John Isner. Three hours later, Rubin went head-to-head with No. 16 Andrey Rublev and lost. This is the reason why Andy Murray withdrew from the Citi Open.
He didn’t have a choice. Murray can’t risk being exhausted for the rest of the hardcourt season and reinjuring his hip. His focus is on the US Open, which begins in less than a month.
Murray needs to be healthy for the next Grand Slam. He’ll need to put in more work to bring his ranking out of the 800s. The former No. 1 player has a long road ahead of him. And his visit to Washington did not make that road any shorter.