Sir Andy Murray has announced that he will not be competing in the men’s singles event at Wimbledon this year. The veteran Scottish tennis player has withdrawn from the prestigious tournament as an individual player, but will still take to the court for the doubles competition alongside his brother Jamie.

Murray’s representatives have said that the reason he is withdrawing from the competition is because he has not fully recovered from back surgery which he began 10 days before Wimbledon. A statement from Murray’s representatives read: “Unfortunately, despite Andy having worked incredibly hard on his recovery since his surgery just over a week ago, he has made the very difficult decision not to play in singles this year.

“As you can imagine he is hugely disappointed but has confirmed he will be playing with Jamie in the doubles and is looking forward to competing at Wimbledon for the last time.” But Andy’s withdrawal from the men’s singles has left a spot open – giving one ‘lucky loser’ the chance to compete at Wimbledon this year. But who is this person and what is a lucky loser?

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Who is David Goffin?

David Goffin to play at Wimbledon in 2023David Goffin to play at Wimbledon in 2023

David Goffin to play at Wimbledon in 2023 -Credit:Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The player who has wormed his way into the order of play is 33-year-old David Goffin from Belgium. The experienced tennis player started playing at the age of six, when he hit balls with his father.

Now, almost thirty years later, Goffin is set to play Wimbledon for the tenth time. He first entered the championship in 2012, when he reached the third round of the competition.

It wasn’t until 2019 that Goffin made his mark, finally reaching the quarterfinals when he was defeated in straight sets by Novak Djokovic. After a two-year absence – one year in which Wimbledon was cancelled due to the pandemic and a second year in which Goffin did not play – he reached the quarterfinals again in 2022.

This time he was narrowly defeated by British player Cameron Norrie. At the end of 2023, Goffin had dropped out of the world’s top 100 players for the first time in ten years, but in the first half of 2024 he worked his way back into several of the world’s biggest tennis tournaments, including the Australian Open and the BNP Paribas Open.

Despite this, he was not given a wildcard to play in this year’s Wimbledon Championships. He is currently ranked 83rd in the world.

What is a ‘lucky loser’?

Andy Murray has withdrawn from the first round of Wimbledon 2024, leaving a spot openAndy Murray has withdrawn from the first round of Wimbledon 2024, leaving a spot open

Andy Murray has withdrawn from the first round of 2024 Wimbledon, leaving a spot open -Credit:Francois Nel/Getty Images

A lucky loser is a player who has not made it through the qualifying rounds at Wimbledon. Therefore, he is out of the competition and cannot play.

However, if another player who did make it withdraws before the first round, one of the ‘unlucky’ players who missed out gets a second chance. These players get a spot in the main draw as a ‘lucky loser’.

That’s what happened to David Goffin this year, after Andy Murray withdrew from his first-round match today (Tuesday 2 July). But Goffin isn’t the first lucky loser to come to Wimbledon this year – there are already six players counting their lucky stars for their last-minute spots at the tournament.

On Sunday, Alejandro Davidovich Fokina withdrew from Wimbledon due to a back injury, giving lucky loser Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard a spot in the Wimbledon draw. Australian James Duckworth, Frenchman Luca can Assche and Daniel Elahi Galan also took places on the list.

Two women also narrowly qualified for the tournament – Renata Zarazuam, who replaced No. 22 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova at the last minute. She faced Britain’s Emma Raducanu on Monday but was defeated in straight sets despite a back-and-forth match between them.

Who will David Goffin play against at Wimbledon?

Goffin at the 2024 French OpenGoffin at the 2024 French Open

Goffin at the 2024 French Open – Photo: Dan Istitene/Getty Images

David Goffin plays Tomas Machac, 23, of the Czech Republic, on court 17 today. According to IBM’s Likelihood to Win on the Wimbledon website, Machac is currently more likely to win the match, with a 60 percent chance of winning compared to 40 percent for Goffin.

Whoever wins the match will advance to the second round of the championship, which will be held on Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 July.

Queuing for this year’s Wimbledon Championships? Read our handy guide to everything you need to know, from what’s banned to whether you’re allowed to skip the queue.

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