Andy Murray has been left chasing one Olympic gold.
I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the singles and focus on playing doubles with Joe Andy Murray
The two-time champion admitted he was “disappointed” after being forced to withdraw from his campaign for a third singles title before it had started due to a thigh strain.
Murray, who has reached the second round of the doubles with Joe Salisbury, was due to face Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime who was subsequently knocked out by the Brit’s replacement Max Purcell of Australia.
Murray said: “I am really disappointed at having to withdraw but the medical staff have advised me against playing in both events. I have made the difficult decision to withdraw from the singles and focus on playing doubles with Joe.”
The 34-year-old aims to become the first man to win four Olympic medals since tennis was re-introduced to the Games in 1988. Unseeded Murray and Salisbury face German duo Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puetz after stunning second seeds Nicolas Mahut and Pierre-Hugues Hubert from France.
The twice Wimbledon champion has had a stop-start comeback from hip problems after winning Olympic singles gold and mixed doubles silver in 2012 and retaining his individual title four years later.
He also had to opt out of the Australian Open in January due to contracting Covid although managed to make the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time since 2017 at Wimbledon in June.
Liam Broady, the remaining Brit in the singles, earned a second round duel with Hubert Hurkacz, the Wimbledon semi-finalist, by defeating Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo 7-5 6-7(4) 6-2 over 3hr.3min.
It follows Jamie Murray, Andy’s older brother, and Neal Skupski beating Cerundolo compatriots Andres Molteni and Horacio Zeballos. 6-7 6-4 13-11 in the opening round of the doubles.