London - Roger Federer believes Andy Murray made the right
decision to withdraw from Wimbledon, insisting it's "not the end of the
world" for the two-time winner.
Murray, 31, pulled out on Sunday, less than 24 hours before
the start of the tournament, fearing that his long-standing hip injury would
not cope with the rigours of two weeks of five-set tennis.
"It must be a tough decision but one he's taking for
his career, and his life as well," said eight-time Wimbledon champion
"I think it's probably a wise decision. He would give
everything to play here and that's why it hurts."
Murray, the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon winner, had only just
returned to action after 11 months on the sidelines due to a hip injury that
needed surgery in January.
He originally suffered the setback in a five-set loss to Sam
Querrey in the quarter-finals at the All England Club last July.
"It's with regret I'm withdrawing from Wimbledon,"
Murray, who played just three matches in his comeback, said in a statement.
"I've made significant progress in practice and matches
over the last 10 days but, after lengthy discussions with my team and with a
heavy heart, we've decided that playing best-of-five-set matches might be a bit
too soon in the recovery process."
Murray, whose ranking is down to 156, will now turn his
attention to the American hard-court season that culminates in the US Open.
He is next scheduled to play in Washington beginning on July
"We did everything we could to try to be ready in time.
I will start practising on the hard courts and continuing with my rehab and
recovery and I'm looking forward to the US hard-court season," Murray
Federer believes it would be foolish to write off Murray as
a major force in the sport.
"If you're just not feeling it in the morning to walk
out there and play best-of-five a few times in a row, what's the point? You're
only going to have a setback and then everybody's even more unhappy," said
the defending champion who begins his bid for a ninth title at Wimbledon later
Monday against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic.
"I'm sad that he's not playing Wimbledon. It's a big
loss. He's one of the big guys here.
"It's not the end of the world and we all hope he's
going to come back stronger and win some epic battles on centre court
Murray, who was due to face France's Benoit Paire in the
first round, signed off on his statement by saying: "If anyone needs a
coach over the next couple weeks give me buzz!"
German fourth seed Alexander Zverev, who has yet to get past
the last 16 at Wimbledon, was among the first to seek out Murray's expertise.
"If you've got nothing better to do the next two weeks
and feel like coaching hit me up," he wrote on Instagram.
Nick Kyrgios, who beat Murray in his comeback match at
Queen's last month, added: "Let's make it happen. I know you like a
US Open women's champion Sloane Stephens joined in, writing:
"As you know, my coach is always asleep!!!! We need help!!!! Warm up is at
10:30, court 5 - see you there?"
Murray's place in the draw goes to Jason Jung of Taiwan, the
world number 154 who has just one win on the main tour in 2018.
The American-born 29-year-old has never played a main draw
match at the Slams.