Andy Murray was Tuesday added to the list of pullouts from the Miami Masters after the Scot withdrew with a groin injury.
The absence of the two-time champion at an event already missing five of the ATP Top 10 – including No. 1 Novak Djokovic and No. 3 Rafael Nadal – leaves the once-proud event struggling.
The Miami Herald reported that the 33-year-old told organisers he somehow developed the problem while sleeping after arriving here last week on what will turn out to be a fruitless trip across the Atlantic.
“I had no issues while training, felt fine, did some gym work Friday, no problem, and then I woke up about 3 in the morning, felt pain in the groin, not on the side I had my surgery, and when I got out of bed I struggled quite a bit to walk,” Murray said.
“I have no idea what I did. It’s one of those freak things.
“Each day it has gotten progressively better, but it’s not enough. I have not practised since Friday.”
The double Wimbledon winner has had a difficult time in trying to make a comeback from a pair of hip operations.
He has played only three Tour matches in 2021 after being banned from the Australian Open when he tested positive for COVID-19 before boarding his flight from Britain.
Father of four Murray formerly used the city as a training base until selling his massive flat when his family began to expand.
“I am really gutted, this is a place I have done so much training over the years. It’s like my second home,” he said.
“Last time I played here was 2016 and so much has happened. In 2017 I had an elbow issues, last few years various issues with my hip.
“Last year, the day before I was supposed to travel here COVID stopped the tennis tour. Miami’s been a place that has given me a lot, but this just wasn’t meant to be.”
Men’s play at the event being staged in a stadium parking lot with only 750 spectators per day allowed in, starts on Wednesday.
The event formerly played on a lush tropical island near the city has suffered a serious image downgrade, with this edition’s 60 per cent reduction in prize money and complaint from fans who are forced to buy pricey ticket packages for the entire length of the ATP-WTA event with no single-session entries offered.