The British No 1 does not want his groin injury to hinder his preparation for the Australian Open in January.
British No 1 Andy Murray is dejected after a groin injury ended his season early at the ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Murray suffered the strain in training on November 14 before aggravating it during yesterday’s opening round 6-4 7-5 loss to David Ferrer at the O2 Arena.
The Scot had vowed to continue if possible but believes it might seriously hinder his preparation for the Australian Open starting January 16.
He said: “It would probably do myself more damage by playing than not.
“I was told a week to ten days off of total rest,” he added. “I just didn’t have enough time to recover.”
Murray was scheduled to practice at 1pm today ahead of tomorrow’s clash with Tomas Berdych but did not turn up.
A few hours later Murray gave a press conference announcing his decision, though it was hardly surprising given his post-match demeanour.
“I was never going to feel great today,” said Murray. “You hope that things are going to get better, but the reality was that wasn’t ever going to happen.”
The 24-year-old consulted his team after Monday’s match and they agreed to give it every chance.
“I woke up this morning still sore,” he said. “We chatted for about two hours, about when I was going to be practicing, about what I should do, what the right thing to do was.
“I was just trying to find reasons why I should try to play.
“But there was no real positive coming out and playing because yesterday I was really unhappy on the court, I wasn’t enjoying it at all.
“This is one of the best tournaments in the year. I couldn’t give anywhere near my best.
“That’s why mentally I felt really flat, really disappointed when I felt my groin again.”
Although it will disappoint fans and sponsors, Murray is adamant he made the right decision.
He said: “It might seem to you guys like it’s a long time but the Australian Open is six, seven weeks away.
“I could mess up my preparation for that, for the beginning of the year.
“That off-season has been so important for me in the last few years for getting myself in shape.”
After Monday’s defeat Murray admitted he wouldn’t have even considered playing had it not been a Grand Slam or the World Tour Finals.
“There’s no chance I would have been ready to win the tournament,” he said. “In hindsight it was maybe the wrong decision [to play].
“But you want to go out having given everything,” he said. “Not being able to play is what’s most frustrating.
“You work the whole year to be part of this group of players.”