Andy Murray withdrew from his Washington Open quarter-finals on Friday night after only finishing his third round match at 3:02 a.m. EDT earlier that same day.

The Scot, who returned from a long-term hip injury in June this year, was playing his third tournament and was scheduled to play Australian Alex De Minaur in the last eight.

The 31-year-old had played two grueling three set matches leading up to his clash with Marius Copil and broke down in tears after his three set win against the Romanian, which ended in the wee hours of Friday morning.

Murray admitted immediately after the match that it is unreasonable to expect the players to return to court the same evening and believes it is also not good for the fans or for the television viewers.

“I don’t think I should be put in a position like that,” Murray said immediately after the match on Friday morning, as quoted on News.com.au. “[My body] doesn’t feel great right now.”

“I’ve had a few long matches. Finishing matches at three in the morning isn’t good for anyone involved in the event, players, TV, fans, anyone."

“When you’re expected to come back and perform the next day, I think that’s unreasonable,” he explained. “It’s a very difficult position to be coming back from a long injury to be finishing matches at 3 o’clock in the morning. By the time you finish doing recovery and everything it’s 5.30 or 6 o’clock in the morning.”

The former world number one also confirmed he will skip next week’s Rogers Cup in Canada and will next only return to action at the Cincinnati Masters before going on to take part in the U.S. Open.

Murray missed almost 12 months of tennis after having suffered a hip injury during the Wimbledon Championships in 2017 and after undergoing surgery, he made a return to action earlier this year. He is aware that pushing his body too much too soon is not advisable.

"I need to be smart with my rest and recovery," Murray said. "My plan is to head to Cincinnati early next week. Appreciate all the support this week in Washington, it's amazing to be back playing."

The Washington Open tournament director Keeley O’Brien was hoping Murray will not withdraw after hearing the Scot’s comments in the aftermath of his game against Copil. He admitted that a withdrawal will send a negative message to the younger players on the ATP Tour.

However, he was more understanding after Murray announced his withdrawal on Friday admitting that the health of a player should be top priority.

"I sincerely respect his decision and know that his health and recovery process is his top priority, as it should be,” O’Brien said.

Murray is currently ranked number 832 in the world after missing almost 12 months of tennis. Had he won the Citi Open, he would have gone close to entering the top 100, but his withdrawal in the quarter-final will see him move up to around 375 in the world.