Hailing from England Andy Murray knows a thing or two about rain. And he knows water and outdoor hardcourt tennis just don’t mix. So yesterday citing some knee soreness but likely a dubious forecast and an exhausting post gold medal media tour, Murray opted out of the Toronto Masters to rest up for Cincinnati and the upcoming US Open. Smart move, Andy. The kid is learning.
“It was a bit sore yesterday, then I had some treatment after the match,” Murray said. “It felt a bit better, and then came in today, I saw the physios, they did some work on it, and it’s still a bit sore.
“I did a little warm-up on the bike to try it out and it was still sore, so I had to make a decision as to what I was going to do… I don’t want to go full out and possibly do any more damage. That was why I decided not to play.”
Weather permitting, Murray was scheduled to play Canadian Milos Raonic in a highly anticipated third round showdown.
“It’s unfortunate. I think it would have been a fun match,” Murray said of his match against Raonic. “I hope he has a good tournament. Be great for him to go deep in this the tournament here for the first time.”
With Murray now out, the only player left from the Top 6 is defending Canadian champ Novak Djokovic. And with the all day rain yesterday and more forecasted today, one has to wonder if Djokovic, who is also coming off a busy weekend in London, is considering exiting as well.
If the rain continues Friday it’s likely the winner will have to play two matches Saturday, the semifinals on Sunday and then the final on Monday. And after go directly to Cincinnati to play Tuesday night or Wednesday. That’s just a lot of tennis in a short timeframe and for someone like Djokovic who has a US Open title defense around the corner is the risk worth the reward? Or maybe he’ll try to win this week and skip Cincinnati. We’ll see.
But with so many of the top players out, Djokovic and others have a real opportunity to pick up some important ranking points Toronto. And Murray’s pull out already put Raonic in the quarters meaning he likely won’t have to double-up his match schedule.
As for Rafael Nadal, who confirmed yesterday that he won’t play Cincinnati either, he’s in trouble. Nadal’s knee is still not 100% and who knows when it will be. Even if it’s not healed I expect him to be at the US Open but unless he gets a very favorable draw it’s hard to see him being much of a factor there. Players just don’t take two months off to recover from a knee injury and do well on the slick, unforgiving hardcourts at the US Open. This isn’t women’s tennis.
That said, if Nadal does get to full health by New York, perhaps this break helps him at the end of the year. It’s not much of a silver lining but for Nadal fans it’s something.
ESPN2 has live coverage starting at 1pm ET and again at 7pm ET.
FRIDAY TORONTO SCHEDULE
STADIUM start 11:00 am
 R Gasquet (FRA) vs  T Berdych (CZE)
Not Before 1:00 PM
 N Djokovic (SRB) vs S Querrey (USA)
Not Before 3:00 PM
 J Monaco (ARG) or  M Fish (USA) vs  R Gasquet (FRA) or  T Berdych (CZE)
Not Before 7:00 PM
 J Isner (USA) or  P Kohlschreiber (GER) vs  M Raonic (CAN)
 N Djokovic (SRB) or S Querrey (USA) vs T Haas (GER) or R Stepanek (CZE)
GRANDSTAND start 11:00 am
 J Monaco (ARG) vs  M Fish (USA)
Not Before 1:00 PM
 J Isner (USA) vs  P Kohlschreiber (GER)
 J Melzer (AUT) / L Paes (IND) vs  M Fyrstenberg (POL) / M Matkowski (POL)
J Chardy (FRA) or M Granollers (ESP) vs  M Cilic (CRO) or  J Tipsarevic (SRB)
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