Murray’s exit could open door for Kokkinakis
ANDY Murray's Wimbledon demise leaves Thanasi Kokkinakis on the brink of an 11th hour main draw reprieve.
Murray's withdrawal leaves Kokkinakis at the top of the alternate's list as a lucky loser amid growing doubts over the fitness of American Tennys Sandgren.
Dual Wimbledon champion Murray is not fully recovered after hip surgery, having lost two of three matches since resuming at Queen's Club two weeks ago.
His withdrawal meant Chinese Taipei's Jason Jung is the seventh lucky loser to claim a lifeline after failing in final-round qualifying.
Kokkinakis, who fell in the last round of the pre-tournament to fellow South Australian Alex Bolt, is eighth in priority on the lucky loser's list.
The rash of no-shows is attributable to a new rule which allows main draw players to pull out after qualifying starts and still collect half the $69,000 first-round prizemoney at Wimbledon.
The rule was introduced as incentive to stop competitors cynically taking to the court for opening-round matches and retiring after a few games.
It also provides for heavy penalties for players who are unable to give their best efforts because of injury - and still decide to play.
Bernard Tomic won a reprieve after suffering illness during a straight-sets loss to Ruben Bemelmans.
In a further twist, Tomic's name was the first drawn from the hat and he ultimately drew another lucky loser - world No 119 Hubert Hurkacz, of Poland.
The development means Tomic continues a Wimbledon run stretching back to 2010.
If the 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finalist regains his best form, it's possible he could clash with Nick Kyrgios in the third round.
The pair, who have never played each other, was slated to square in the French Open's first round but Kyrgios withdrew with an elbow injury.
Tomic and Kyrgios lead a pack of 10 Australian men into battle.
Ash Barty, Daria Gavrilova, Sam Stosur and Ajla Tomljanovic carry the nation's women's singles hopes.
Murray said: "It is with a heavy heart that I'm announcing that I'll be withdrawing from Wimbledon this year.
"I've made significant progress in practice and matches over the last 10 days, but after lengthy discussions with my team, we've decided that playing best of five set matches might be a bit too soon in the recovery process.
"We did everything we could to try to be ready in time.
"I will start practising on the hard courts from tomorrow and continuing with my rehab and recovery and I'm looking forward to the US hardcourt season."