Andy Murray Rules Himself Out of ATP World Tour Finals

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IOctober 9, 2013

UMAG, CROATIA - SEPTEMBER 15:  Andy Murray of Great Britain in action against Ivan Dodig of Croatia during day three of the Davis Cup World Group play-off tie between Croatia and Great Britain at Stadion Stella Maris on September 15, 2013 in Umag, Croatia.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has ruled himself out of the 2013 ATP World Tour Finals in November as he continues his recovery from an operation on a long-standing back injury.

Murray revealed his withdrawal via his official website, posting a short message expressing his disappointment at having to pull out of the end-of-year finale to the tennis season.

I'm really disappointed not to be playing this year, I love playing in front of my home crowd, it's a great atmosphere. All the players look forward to competing in London and I'll be doing my best to qualify again for the tournament next year.

Per BBC Sport, Murray underwent surgery in September to resolve an issue with disks in his lower back that initially forced him to miss the French Open in May.

Although he recovered from that spell on the sidelines to win at Wimbledon and reach the U.S. Open quarterfinals, the issue was serious enough for the Scot to require an operation following September's Davis Cup fixture with Croatia.

The ATP Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena have become one of the highlights of the tennis calendar, bringing together the year's eight top performers in an end-of-season showdown.

The 26-year-old's history at the event is rather poor, though, with an overall 9-7 record and three semifinal appearances his best showing at the event.

He would have been a favourite heading into this year's competition, however, with a 12-0 record on British soil this year and having won two of the past four Grand Slam tournaments in which he has competed.

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Murray's focus will now shift to preparing for January's Australian Open, a tournament where he has reached the final on three occasions without winning the title.

Directly after competition, he also needs to be in a strong enough physical position to help Great Britain in their Davis Cup clash with USA.  

With the return from injury of Rafael Nadal and the continued excellence of Novak Djokovic, Murray will know he needs to be at the top of his game if he is to add to his honours collection in 2014.