x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Injury issues no bother to Andy Murray

Andy Murray says his schedule is packed but that nagging injuries will not keep him from Wimbledon or the Olympics.

Andy Murray works on his forehand during a practice session on day six of the French Open at Roland Garros.
Andy Murray works on his forehand during a practice session on day six of the French Open at Roland Garros.

 

Andy Murray is confident he is not harming his chances of success at Wimbledon and the Olympics by playing on in the French Open.

The world no 4, who plays Sanitago Giraldo on Saturday, has been troubled by a niggling back problem since the end of last year and on Thursday woke up with a back spasm that almost ended his Roland Garros campaign in the second round.

Murray admitted he was only a few points from quitting against Jarkko Nieminen before his back loosened and the Finn tightened up, enabling the 25 year old to come through in four sets.

With the Olympics making the summer schedule more packed than usual - three grand slams and the Games are all crammed into less than four months - there will be little time for rest and recuperation.

Boris Becker suggested before the French Open that Murray should pull out to ensure he is fully fit for the grass-court season, an idea he gave short shrift to, and that remains the Scot's stance.

He said of his back spasm: "It's a completely different thing to what I had beforehand. So if it was the same thing, then, yes, I would be really, really concerned about Wimbledon and obviously the Olympics. But so long as what I'm getting told by doctors and the physios is, if it is just a muscle spasm, then that's nothing to be overly concerned by, [then I will play]. But when they happen they are very difficult to shake off, especially when it's early morning. It takes a bit of time for your body to warm up and stuff. So I'm not doing any permanent damage by finishing a match like I did."

The Scot practised for almost an hour on Friday at Roland Garros and, although it was fairly gentle, he did look to be moving better and was able to push into the court on his serve.

Roland Garros and Murray dramas certainly seem to go together. Last year he twisted his ankle in the third round, broke his tooth eating a baguette, fought back from two sets down in round four before eventually losing to Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

Having his own troubles yesterday was Roger Federer.

After striding through the opening set amid effortless calm, the Swiss third seed suffered a second-set wobble against Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, as the world No 89 responded to a partisan home crowd to convert his first break point of the match to level.

But as the glimmer of an upset began to poke through the Parisian sky, Federer broke twice in the third before edging out a resilient Mahut in the fourth, to register a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 win.

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