Andy Murray is not off to a great start at the Tokyo Olympics, After suffering a minor thigh strain, the two-time defending champion has announced his decision to withdraw from the men's singles event.
Murray underwent a hip resurfacing surgery since winning his last Olympic Gold Medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Thanks to a year-long postponement due to the novel coronavirus pandeic, he was able to recover enough to be able to participate this summer.
However, the Scot decided to make a strategic decision after winning his opening doubles match with partner Joe Salisbury on Saturday. He opted out of the singles event where he was scheduled to face Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime in the first round. Australia's Max Purcell will take over his slot in the singles draw.
Despite pulling out of the singles competition, Murray's team have decided to let him continue playing doubles with Salisbury. His thigh strain is minor, and focusing on the doubles will give him more time to recover between matches.
"I am really disappointed at having to withdraw but the medical staff have advised me against playing in both events," said Murray in an official statement. "I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the singles and focus on playing doubles with Joe," he added.
The withdrawal takes away Murray's chance to defend his Olympic gold medal twice, after winning in London 2012 and successfully defending in Rio. However, being able to compete in itself after what he thought was a career ending hip surgery is a mean feat.
He and Salisbury will be facing Germany's Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz in the second round of the doubles competition. Despite missing out on the singles gold, Murray still has a chance to become the first man to win 4 Olympic medals since tennis returned in 1988.