Andy Murray’s long-awaited singles comeback ended in defeat at the Western and Southern Open, with the Scot later declaring he would only play doubles at this month’s US Open.
Murray was beaten 6-4 6-4 in straight sets by Richard Gasquet, seven months after career-saving hip surgery.
The 32-year-old insisted his decision had nothing to do with his loss earlier in the day.
Murray told the ATP Tour’s official website: "We were hoping to maybe hold a wild card until a little bit closer to the time to see how I feel and get some matches hopefully and a bit of practice.
"It was a decision I made with my team. I didn't want to take a wild card today because I just didn't know how I was going to feel after a match.
"I felt like I wanted to be fair, for me to maybe try and get a couple of matches in before making a decision like that.”
Murray added: "If I would have taken the wild card and then not played, then I would have been getting loads of questions about my hip and, 'Why has he turned it down? Is something wrong? What's the problem?'
"It was more likely that I was not going to play because although I did fine in the match today, physically my legs felt quite heavy at the end of the match, and that's probably not going to change a whole lot in a couple of weeks."
Murray confirmed that he is still pain free following his hip injury, but needs time to get back to his best.
The Briton struggled to find a first serve in Cincinnati, and admitted some rustiness on court.
On his comeback, Murray continued: "I think I did OK.
I think there were a lot of things I would like to have done better in the match, but you also have to be somewhat realistic in terms of what you can expect.
"Richard uses all of the angles on the court. He's one of the best at doing that, so I was having to move quite a lot laterally, and I didn't move forward particularly well.
"Like when he drop-shotted, there were a few times I didn't even run to the ball, didn't react to it, and that's nothing to do with my hip. That's just me not running for a ball, which I did do that better at the end of the match.”
Murray has indicated he intends to play in the singles at next month's Zhuhai Championships and China Open.
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