Andy Murray troubled by hip problem in Stuttgart Open defeat

Scot raises fitness concerns ahead of Wimbledon after needing on-court treatment

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Andy Murray’s quest for a first ATP Tour title since 2019 goes on after he was beaten by Matteo Berrettini in the final of the Stuttgart Open on Sunday.

More concerning, though, was an apparent left hip problem for which he twice sought treatment in the third set before succumbing to a 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 defeat against last year’s Wimbledon runner-up.

This has been one of Murray’s best weeks since his hip problems started in 2017, with the Scot defeating Stefanos Tsitsipas and Nick Kyrgios to reach his first grass-court final since he won his second Wimbledon title in 2016.

The resurfacing operation Murray underwent in 2019 was to his right hip, but he then struggled with a number of troublesome niggles in his pelvic area.

The 35-year-old called the physio to the court after dropping serve to start the deciding set and then requested treatment mid-game at 2-4.

It appeared Murray might decide to retire but he fought on until the finish line, which came when Berrettini broke for a second time in the set.

With only two weeks until Wimbledon, and with Murray due to play at Queen’s Club next week, the Scot must hope this is not an issue that will put him back on the sidelines.

He had fought back very well to force a decider after dropping serve in the third game of the match as Berrettini, playing in his first tournament since March following hand surgery, showed again how well suited his game is to grass.

Speaking in an on-court interview, Murray said: “It’s been an incredible week here. I really enjoyed it. I’d like to congratulate Matteo and his team on a fantastic week.

“He’s just come back from a surgery and it’s never easy. He played extremely well today and deserved the win. Finally thank you to my team here and my team back home.

“Sorry I couldn’t get over the line today, but there’s been a lot of progress the last few weeks. I’m looking forward to what the future has to hold, I’m feeling a lot better about my game. Hopefully my body can hold up a little while longer so I can keep playing matches like this.”

Tournament organisers, meanwhile, announced they are investigating Kyrgios’ claims that he received racial abuse from the stands during Saturday’s semi-final.

A statement read: “We have expressed our regret towards Nick Kyrgios and his team and assured that any kind of discrimination is unacceptable. The incident is currently under investigation.”

At the Libema Open in Holland, local wild card Tim Van Rijthoven completed a remarkable week by defeating top seed Daniil Medvedev to claim his first ATP Tour title.

The 25-year-old had only ever faced one top-50 player in his career before this week but defeated the top three seeds, following up victories over Taylor Fritz and Felix Auger-Aliassime by seeing off Medvedev, who will return to world No 1 on Monday, 6-4, 6-1.

There was also an upset in the women’s final, with seventh seed Ekaterina Alexandrova defeating top seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 6-0.

Updated: June 12, 2022, 4:39 PM
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