• Internazionali BNL d'Italia

Back injury troubling Murray ahead of French Open

ESPN staff
May 18, 2012 « Gerrard rues exit of 'idol' Dalglish | Chartbeat test »
Andy Murray has been battling a back injury this year © PA Photos
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Andy Murray remains hopeful that the back injury which has plagued him all year will subside in time for the second grand slam of 2012.

Murray's French Open preparations were dealt a blow on Thursday when he lost in the third round of the Internazionali BNL d'Italia to Richard Gasquet. Last week, Murray was forced to withdraw from the Madrid Open with concerns over his back, and he revealed the same problem has hampered his fitness since before this year's Australian Open.

"My back was a little bit sore towards the end (of the Gasquet match), but I was expecting that coming into the tournament," Murray said. "I don't really want to go into detail of what it is and what treatment I've had done, but I've had it a while, since December. Obviously since then there hasn't been that much time to take an extended break.

"You try to take one at the right moment. With the French Open, Wimbledon, Olympics and US Open there's not much time to take a rest. Obviously now is the best time to do it, so hopefully by the time the French Open comes around I'll be in peak condition. That's the goal."

After suffering disappointing defeats to Tomas Berdych and Milos Raonic this clay-court season, Murray now intends to fly to Paris immediately to finalise his preparations at Roland Garros. Murray will be aiming to go one step further than his semi-final appearance of 2011 when the French Open commences on May 27.

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