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Injured Murray Withdraws from Artois Championships

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Andy Murray

British No. 1 Andy Murray has withdrawn from The Artois Championships after failing to recover from the thumb injury sustained during his third round victory over Ernests Gulbis on Thursday.

Murray, who was due to face defending champion Andy Roddick in the quarterfinals, said his thumb was still too sore despite taking anti-inflammatory tablets.

“I woke up this morning and couldn't pick up my pillow, I was struggling to pick up my phone,” said Murray. “I obviously took another anti-inflammatory, came down here and tried to practice, hit some balls. I could hit the ball decent, but I couldn't hit a backhand volley, and slicing was very sore.”

Murray underwent a scan and after speaking to the doctors, his physios and his team, the 21-year-old decided that withdrawing from the match was the best option. “I just sprained it a bit,” he explained. “Obviously it's not terrible, but it's just too sore to try and play a match.”

The Scot, who missed last year’s Artois Championships because of a serious wrist injury, is confident his thumb will heal in time for the start of Wimbledon in 10 days’ time. “The reason I was considering playing is because I was in a tournament,” he said. “If it was in a practice week, I would have taken for sure three, four days off. But I just have to take it day to day and see how the swelling goes down, you know, the bruising. Hopefully in three, four days' time, I'll be able to hit some balls again.

“I'm obviously not pulling out just because Wimbledon's around the corner with an injury like this. If it was a groin strain or whatever, then obviously you need to give that as much time as possible. I just didn't see any point in trying to play when you're so far away from a hundred percent fit.”

The withdrawal means Roddick is through to his sixth consecutive semifinal at The Queen’s Club. The American, who has just returned from a shoulder injury of his own having missed the French Open, is looking to become the first player to win five titles at The Artois Championships. He will now meet either top seed Rafael Nadal or Ivo Karlovic.