Tennis-Murray not yet ready to compete, skips Nottingham grasscourt event

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ATP Masters 1000 - Italian Open

(Reuters) - Britain's former world number one Andy Murray has withdrawn from a June 5-13 grasscourt ATP Challenger event in Nottingham as he is not yet ready to compete while he continues his recovery from injury, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) said on Thursday.

Three-times Grand Slam champion Murray has fallen to 123 in the world rankings after long injury lay-offs because of hip surgeries.

Murray last played at the Rotterdam Open where he was beaten by Russian Andrey Rublev in early March before pulling out of the Miami Open later that month due to a groin injury.

"Andy Murray announced on Thursday afternoon that he was withdrawing from the event as he didn't feel ready to compete and is targeting a return at ... The Queen's Club later this month," the LTA said in a statement.

The 34-year-old was initially looking to earn a wildcard at the French Open but eventually decided to skip the claycourt swing to focus on a return to Grand Slam action at Wimbledon.

The Queen's Club event begins on June 14 while Wimbledon, which was cancelled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is scheduled for June 28-July 11.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; editing by Pritha Sarkar)