ATP back Murray over withdrawal row

Tennis officials have backed Andy Murray’s decision to pull out of this week’s Marseille Open.

Murray was due to be top seed in Marseille but has withdrawn from the event as he continues to recover from his efforts at the Australian Open, where he lost in the final to world number one Roger Federer.

Tournament director Jean-Francois Caujolle has denied calling for Murray to be suspended for missing the tournament for the second year in succession.

And the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) have confirmed they would not have been inclined to do so anyway.

An ATP statement read: “There are clear rules and regulations in place with regard to player withdrawals and Andy Murray followed them.

“We understand a situation like this can be frustrating for a tournament, but we are looking forward to a great week of tennis in Marseille with a strong field led by six of the world’s top 20 players.”

Caujolle had been quoted in a national newspaper calling for Murray’s suspension but this morning told Sky Sports News: “I never said that he should be suspended, but it’s true I was really disappointed because he was my top player.

“There is a responsibility for the credibility of all the game when it’s a top player. Sometimes you have to force yourself and be responsible.

“I understand he’s quite young and it’s not a huge tournament but it’s quite disappointing and we had the same last year.

“Last year he played in Rotterdam and was a bit injured and I understand that. He sent me an email saying next year I will play.

“I understand everything but the fact is it’s going to affect the tournament.

“One week before, to phone and say I am not coming would have been good. In that case I could have found another player, not as good as Andy, but made an offer to Marin Cilic or someone, but it was too late.

“A few minutes later Juan Martin Del Potro pulled out with a real injury so I lost my top two players.

“I think the top seed and marquee player…they have to not pull out because all the promotion is framed around them.

“There should be something but the ATP is working on that, it’s not the fault of the ATP or even Andy. It’s just life.”

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