Andy Murray latest Open casualty

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NEW YORK – The way he looked during a practice session earlier Saturday, it was clear Andy Murray was far from fit and hale enough to make a run at the US Open.

And so, when he officially withdrew only a few hours later, it wasn’t a great shock.

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“Yeah, obviously had the issue with the hip over what’s actually been since my match with Stan (Wawrinka) in Paris. Did pretty much everything that I could to get myself ready here and took, you know, a number of weeks off after Wimbledon.

“You know, I obviously spoke to a lot of hip specialists. Tried obviously resting, rehabbing, to try and get myself ready here,” an emotional Murray said in what, previously, was to be his pre-tournament press conference but ended up being a withdrawal announcement.

“Was actually practicing okay the last few days, but it’s too sore for me to win the tournament and ultimately that’s what I was here to try and do,” he added.  “Unfortunately, I won’t be playing here this year.”

Murray said he didn’t know if he was going to end his season prematurely, as Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori have done.

“I’ll definitely make a decision on that in the next few days. That’s something that I’ll sit down and decide with my team. But I’ll decide on that in the next couple of days, for sure,” he said.

Men’s draw decimated

Murray’s withdrawal means that five of the 11 best tennis players in the world are missing from the final Grand Slam of the season.

In addition to the four mentioned above, Canadian Milos Raonic pulled out after having a procedure done on his ailing left wrist.

As the No. 2 seed, Murray’s withdrawal after the draw leaves a gaping hole in the bottom half.

It also means a reshuffling of the seeds was in order.

No. 5 seed Marin Cilic moves to Murray’s position at the bottom of the draw. No. 17 seed moves into Cilic’s position, and Philipp Kohlschreiber becomes the No. 33 seed and moves into Querrey’s position in the draw.

The lucky loser is Lukas Lacko (that almost rhymes).

The way the draw shook out, Roger Federer as the No. 3 seed has a 50-50 chance of either being in Rafael Nadal’s half, or Murray’s half.

Unfortunately, he ended up in Nadal’s half. And now, with Murray out, the top half of the draw is definitely the more challenging one.

Needless to say, there are plenty of Federer and Nadal fans who are social-media angry at Murray for waiting until after the draw (which was made early Friday afternoon) to pull out.

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