The Duchess of Cambridge is set to miss one very important match at Wimbledon this year. Kate, a lifelong tennis fan, often shows her support to Andy Murray and has even watched him play at the men's final. However, it was announced on Sunday evening that the former world number one has withdrawn from the tournament, citing it was "too soon" to play five-set matches after his comeback from hip surgery. Andy, who won Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, played at Queen's last month after taking almost a year out of playing due to his injury.
Kate Middleton will miss Andy Murray playing at this year's Wimbledon
"It is with a heavy heart that I'm announcing that I'll be withdrawing from Wimbledon this year," the 31-year-old sportsman said in a statement. "We've decided that playing best-of-five-set matches might be a bit too soon in the recovery process. 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 hard-court season."
Last year marked Kate's first visit to Wimbledon as patron of the All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club - a patronage she took over from the Queen in 2016. The 36-year-old is a regular fixture in the royal box throughout Wimbledon. She usually attends at least one day of the summer tournament, and along with Prince William, she is often a guest of honour at the men's singles final match. She will no doubt be backing family friend Roger Federer in this year's championship. The 36-year-old player was even a guest at Kate's sister Pippa Middleton's wedding in May 2017.
Kate has previously revealed that her mother, Carole Middleton, has a secret crush on tennis star Roger. Appearing in the BBC documentary, Sue Barker: Our Wimbledon last year, the mum-of-three opened up about her love of tennis. "I have watched Wimbledon, that was very much part of my growing up. It's such a quintessential part of the English summer, and I think it really inspires youngsters, myself, it inspired me, when I was younger to get involved in the game. It hasn't changed either, I think that's what's so wonderful," she said. "Roger [Federer] is my mother's heartthrob. I don't think she will mind me saying that! I think he probably knows that too."
The royal is an avid tennis fan
In 2013, Kate was forced to skip the men's singles final match when she was pregnant with Prince George. She asked her doctor if she could go but he told her "definitely not". "I was very heavily pregnant with George so I wasn't able to turn up," said Kate. "I wrote to [Andy Murray] afterwards saying sorry for not being there but huge congratulations."