Andy Murray's decision to pull out of the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals is disappointing for people who bet on tennis but seemed to be the only realistic option
open to the Wimbledon champion.
Murray's injury woes returned after the US Open and, after a memorable year, he decided to take some time out to recover from the back problem which flared up again at Flushing Meadows.
Murray has had surgery on the injury and it is thought his recovery is going to plan. The Scot initially said he hoped he would be able to compete at the 02 in the now-traditional finale to the tennis year but he's now confirmed he will not be ready in time to take his place in the eagerly-anticipated London event.
And, while his home fans will be frustrated not to see the world number three, no-one can blame Murray for opting to give it a miss in order to get himself ready for a big 2014.
Much will be expected of Murray next year following his long-awaited - but thoroughly deserved - Wimbledon triumph back in July and the last thing he wants to do is scupper his chances of further future glory by taking part when not fully fit in November. Risking turning out at the 02 when not recovered could bring on a recurrence of his injury troubles and he has clearly done the sensible thing in pulling out.
"I'm really disappointed not to be playing this year," said Murray. "I love playing in front of my home crowd, it's a great atmosphere.
"I'll be doing my best to qualify again for the tournament next year."
The decision to give the 02 event a miss means Murray will head out to Miami in the States by the middle of next month to begin his annual training preparation for the new season and he can therefore devote his attention on being fit for the Australian Open at the start of the year.
He also has the target of trying to be ready for the big Davis Cup showdown against the US in February in what will be another testing spell for the favourite
in the tennis betting.