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Navratilova: Time is not on Murray’s side

With Wimbledon just over three months away, Andy Murray’s return to the court looks increasingly unlikely after he ruptured ankle ligaments during his Miami Open loss to Tomas Machac on Sunday.

The 36-year-old was forced to undergo treatment on his ankle during the deciding set as he suffered a rollercoaster defeat to Czech opponent Machac.

Murray had clawed his way back from 3-0 down in the deciding set to draw level at 5-5 against Machac, only to require treatment after landing awkwardly on his ankle.

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Murray battled on despite suffering an ankle injury during his Miami Open clash with Machac

“Time is not on Murray’s side, it doesn’t look good,” said Martina Navratilova on Sky Sports Tennis.

“I’ve sprained my ankle badly but I’ve never ripped a ligament. It’s going to take a while.

“I don’t know how you can recover well enough to feel stable and not hurt other body parts and to get back into this kind of playing shape.

“It’s tragic and he’s been through so much. I’m wishing him the best but it’s not looking good.”

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Murray’s former coach Jamie Delgado shared his disappointment after the Briton looked to be picking up his game before injuring his ankle

Murray’s latest injury setback arrives little under two months out from the French Open, which takes place across the end of May and beginning of June, as well as three months out from Wimbledon in July.

“We are just starting to see his tennis fire up. He had beaten Matteo Berrettini and Tomas Etcheverry, who he had lost to earlier this year, and the tennis was starting to look really formidable before being beaten by Machac. But this is a really painful situation for him,” said Sky Sports’ Annabel Croft.

“He’s alluded to the fact that he may not play beyond the summer so I would imagine he would have worked out in his head when he would maybe like to finish his career, but it’s not going to be potentially on his terms.

“He doesn’t deserve it for everything that he’s gone through and everything that he’s put himself through to keep playing, try to entertain and squeeze the last ounce out of his tennis career.”

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Physiotherapist Mark Leather believes Murray may return to tennis within three or four months

The Olympic Games in Paris are scheduled to get under way on July 24, with direct entry handed to the top 56 of the rankings on June 10.

“I was surprised how well he played after pulling up. It was tough because I felt in the last few weeks from Dubai onwards he was starting to pick up his game and confidence,” said Murray’s former coach Jamie Delgado.

“He was playing the bigger points better and I think he would have won that match against Machac. I don’t know too much about the injury but it’s a tricky few weeks for him and I hope he gets it back together.

“I didn’t think he would mention [retirement] until he felt the time was right, but fingers crossed he’s good for the grass because I believe on the grass court he can beat so many of these guys with his skillset and hopefully he can have a good run.

“He plays the slice so well and his movement is probably better than anyone’s. The way he can flatten, take the ball early. I think it’s still physical, but a little bit less physical.

“It’s more about skill and I think he gets the best out of most of them, even now.”

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Murray had a message for the world after an epic win against Matteo Berrettini

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