Murray ends season after Verdasco loss

Former World No 1 Andy Murray has opted to end his season after his straight-sets defeat by Fernando Verdasco of Spain in the quarter-finals of the Shenzhen Open.

Murray was due to play at the China Open in Beijing next week, but has a slight ankle injury.

Fifth seed Verdasco’s 6-4, 6-4 win against Murray came after the Scot’s defeat of world number 11 David Goffin on Thursday. Goffin was the highest-ranked opponent Murray had beaten since he returned to the Tour in June.

Friday’s result was a repeat of Verdasco’s victory over Murray in the second round of the US Open in August.

The two wins in a month came after Verdasco had previously suffered eight consecutive defeats to Murray stretching back nine years.

The 31-year-old Scot has dropped to 311 in the world after almost a year out following a hip operation.

He will now focus on his rehabilitation ahead of the 2019 season.

Murray said: “I need to spend more time on the practice court and the gym so that I’m more robust and physically in better shape.

“Right now, I feel like as the week goes on, I’m slowing down a little bit.”