Andy Murray’s decision to pull out of the Swiss Indoors this week should not affect his chances of lifting the ATP Tour Finals crown in November, despite a back injury clearly being a problem for the Scot.
Murray, who was expected to use the tournament as indoor preparation for the London showdown next month, suffered a back strain ahead of the Basel meet and has rightly decided to rest up and wait for the hurt to ease.
Indeed, coming off the back of his arduous Shanghai final defeat to Novak Djokovic last week, Murray does right to take a brief rest. The 25-year-old has had a relaxed end-of-season after claiming his maiden Grand Slam title over Djokovic at Flushing Meadows in September and this rest will do far more good for his body than pushing it to the limit to win minor tour titles.
After that five-set leviathan in New York Murray took almost a month out to bask in his new-found glory before hitting the tour against at the Japan Open. However, he could not fully depend on the form that also earned him an Olympic gold medal this summer, falling in the semi-finals of Tokyo to Milos Raonic.
A week later and the Scot came up against Djokovic: a Serb looking to avenge their US Open result. Djokovic ground Murray down in three tough sets to claim the Shanghai Masters title: the third set a one-sided 6-3 affair that exposed Murray’s physical strains have carried over from New York.
Indeed, if Murray is to win the ATP Tour Finals he must rest up properly after long outings in tournaments such as Shanghai. With Basel now out of the way Murray can focus on recovery before Paris at the end of the month: the perfect warm-up tournament before the ATP curtain call event of the season.
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