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Andy Murray withdraws from Wimbledon singles, will compete in doubles

British tennis veteran Andy Murray has pulled out of the singles at Wimbledon but will compete with his brother Jamie in the doubles.

The two-time former champion has been battling to recover from back surgery last weekend but has run out of time, with his first-round clash against Tomas Machac scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

A statement from Murray's representatives read: "Unfortunately, despite working incredibly hard on his recovery since his operation just over a week ago, Andy has taken the very difficult decision not to play the singles this year.

"As you can imagine, he is extremely disappointed but has confirmed that he will be playing in the doubles with Jamie and looks forward to competing at Wimbledon for the last time."

Murray retired from his second-round match at Queen's Club last month after experiencing weakness and a lack of coordination in his right leg, with scans showing a spinal cyst that needed removing.

He refused to rule out a final Wimbledon appearance and practised at the All England Club the last few days but it was clear his movement was nowhere near 100 per cent.

Speaking after practice on Monday, Murray had said he would talk to his team and his family before making a final decision.

He has been replaced in the draw by lucky loser David Goffin but will at least get a Wimbledon send-off on the court in doubles, where he will play with Jamie at a grand slam for the first time.

Discussions will now ramp up about how to celebrate one of Britain's finest athletes at the tournament that will define his career.

Chief executive Sally Bolton said on Monday: "We have got a variety of plans sitting waiting to deliver. It really is for Andy to make that call and we'll be ready whenever that happens.

"There's been various conversations ongoing for some time now. Andy of course is very focused on his performance, not really on anything else.

"Once he decides to retire and we all get the chance to celebrate him I think you'll really see how much he has meant to not just the tennis-loving public but the sports-loving public in the UK. I think there'll be tears around the house."

Murray made his debut at Wimbledon back in 2005, reaching the third round as an 18-year-old, and has played 74 singles matches, winning 61 of them.

His first title came in 2013 with a hugely emotional victory over Novak Djokovic, while he lifted the trophy again in 2016.

In 2012, he sobbed on Centre Court after losing to Roger Federer in the final but beat the Swiss on the same stage a few weeks later to claim Olympic gold with one of the finest performances of his career.

What has turned out to be his final singles match at the All England Club was an agonising two-day, five-set loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the second round last year.

This is not quite the end of Murray's singles career, with the 37-year-old set to make a final appearance at the Olympics in Paris later this month.

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