LONDON (AP) — Andy Murray withdrew from singles at Wimbledon a little more than a week after surgery to remove a cyst from his spine, and his representatives said Tuesday the two-time men’s champion at the All England Club would make his farewell appearance at the tournament by playing doubles with his brother.

“As you can imagine, he is extremely disappointed” about being unable to compete in singles, his management company said in a statement, adding that Murray “looks forward to competing at Wimbledon for the last time” alongside his older brother, Jamie.

The 37-year-old Murray — who has been planning to retire after the Paris Olympics, which start later this month — was supposed to face Tomas Machac at Centre Court on Tuesday in the first round of singles. Murray was replaced in the bracket by David Goffin, who lost during qualifying rounds last week.

Murray won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016; the first of those made him the first British men’s singles champion at the tournament in 77 years, and he was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II after the second title.

“I’m hoping for, when it comes to the end, maybe a bit of closure. I just want the opportunity to play one more time out there, hopefully on Centre Court, and … feel that buzz,” Murray said on Sunday. “Last year, I wasn’t planning on it being my last year on the tour. I wanted to come back and play again. Whereas this year, I have no plans to do that. It’s coming to the end of my career.”

He won the U.S. Open in 2012, made it to No. 1 in the ATP rankings and is the only player to win two consecutive singles gold medals at an Olympics. Those titles came at London in 2012 — when the matches held were at the All England Club — and at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

Murray came along during an era of unprecedented excellence in men’s tennis, dominated by the Big Three of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. That trio has combined for 66 Grand Slam titles — led by the 24 for Djokovic, who was born a week after Murray in May 1987 — and swapped the top ranking for years, but Murray managed to elbow his way in, eventually.

A grinding game style, mainly at the baseline, superb serve returning and an unrelenting attitude that propelled Murray to success on the court and popularity off it. He has been an advocate for women in the sport, including hiring Amelie Mauresmo as his coach — a rare instance of a top male player working with a female coach — and never been shy about voicing his opinions on various issues.

In recent years, his career has been marked by a series of injuries, and he had a pair of hip operations in 2018 and 2019, the second of which implanted a metal joint. Murray thought he would need to retire back then, but returned to action, even as his mobility was limited and other parts of his body broke down.

During a second-round match at the grass-court tournament at Queen’s Club in London last month, Murray stopped playing because he was having trouble walking. He later explained that a cyst was compressing a nerve in his back and leaving his right leg numb, and he had surgery on June 22.

Murray had been practicing in recent days at the All England Club and undergoing medical tests to see whether he would be able to compete one last time at the tournament that has defined his career.

“This is a place that’s obviously been really good to me over the years,” Murray said on Sunday.

“I’m hoping that, with each day that passes, the likelihood of me being able to play will increase. I mean, it’s impossible for me to say, because I also want to go out there and be able to play to a level that I’m happy with,” he said. “I don’t want to be in a situation like at Queen’s. I don’t want to go on the court and (have it) be awkward or not be able to at least be competitive.”


AP Sports Writer Ken Maguire contributed to this report.


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