Andy Murray's swansong in doubt after ankle injury rules Scot out for 'extended period'

Former World No 1 hopes to play French Open, Wimbledon and Olympics before retiring later this year

Andy Murray reacts after losing a point against Tomas Machac at the Miami Open. AP
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Andy Murray is set for an “extended spell” on the sidelines after he suffered a significant ankle injury during his defeat to Tomas Machac at the Miami Open.

The Scot has said he will retire later in 2024 and this latest setback threatens to disrupt his plans for his final year as an active player, with the French Open, Wimbledon and Paris Olympics on the horizon.

Murray lost a punishing encounter to the Czech player by a 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 score, but has seemingly left the US with bigger worries.

After the 10th game of the final set, Murray fell to the floor and screamed in pain after rolling his ankle when racing towards the net, having sealed the point that won the game.

A medical time-out was called for the three-time major winner, but he picked himself up and continued, only to lose the deciding set on a tie-breaker.

The 36-year-old has now confirmed the severity of the injury with both his Anterior Talo-Fibular ligament (ATFL) and Calcaneofibular ligament (CFL) ruptured.

“Yesterday towards the end of my match in Miami I suffered a full rupture of my ATFL and near full thickness rupture of my CFL,” Murray said on Instagram.

“I will see an ankle specialist when I return home to determine next steps. Goes without saying this is a tough one to take and I’ll be out for an extended period.

“But I’ll be back with one hip and no ankle ligaments when the time is right.”

Murray revealed back in February – during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships – his intention to retire this year, when he told reporters: “I don’t plan on playing much past this summer.”

It followed a series of setbacks with first-round exits in Australia and France, but Murray has since managed to improve his form with some better results over the past month.

The double-Wimbledon champion has beaten Denis Shapovalov and David Goffin at recent tournaments before he claimed back-to-back wins in Miami for the first time since August.

Murray knocked out Matteo Berrettini in round one and then beat his Australian Open conqueror Tomas Martin Etcheverry, but lost after three hours and 27 minutes to Machac on Sunday.

More worrying for the Scot will be the prospect of a lengthy layoff, especially with Wimbledon only three months away as Murray’s swansong is threatened by this potentially-serious ankle injury.

Murray has said he wanted to make one final appearance at the French Open, which starts at Roland Garros on May 26. Wimbledon, where he won the title in 2013 and 2016, begins on July 1, while the Olympics take place in Paris from July 26.

The top 56 players in the ATP rankings gain direct entry into the Olympic men's singles. However, Murray, currently ranked 59th, could still qualify because of withdrawals, while he could also be given a wild card as a double Olympic champion (2012 and 2016) and Grand Slam champion.

Updated: March 26, 2024, 10:38 AM