Injured Andy Murray opts out of Cincinnati, Focusing on US Open return

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"Unfortunately, I won't be playing in Cincinnati as I continue my recovery", Murray said.

"I'm continuing to work hard on the court with the aim of being in NY", he said, per BBC Sports.

Murray is struggling for fitness ahead of the US Open, which starts August 28 in NY and, even if he is able to play, it remains to be seen how well he can perform after missing the two major hardcourt warm-up events for the Flushing Meadows fortnight.

Murray's insistence that he could still play in NY is a good sign after initial fears his injury could rule him out for the rest of the season.

Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic, now world No. 4 and 5 respectively, announced their plans to skip Cincinnati last week. The 30-year-old Serbian, now ranked No. 5 in the world, will miss the remainder of the season due to an elbow injury.

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Murray, who has held the number one ranking since November, will be overtaken by Rafael Nadal on 14 August if the Spaniard reaches the semi-finals of the Rogers Cup in Montreal this week.

Rafael Nadal, 2013 victor, will be the No. 1 seed in Cincinnati.

He's the third top five player to withdraw.

"The five successive tournaments that Murray won at the end of a year ago, thus securing the number one ranking, are beginning to feel like ancient history", says Simon Briggs of the Daily Telegraph.