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Murray 'feeling fine' for first time since surgery

ESPN staff
March 3, 2014 « Captain Smith announces retirement | Chartbeat test »
Murray pleased to be pain-free

Andy Murray has revealed he is feeling 100% pain free for the first time since undergoing back surgery last year.

He may have suffered a disappointing semi-final exit at the hands of eventual winner Grigor Dimitrov in Acapulco last week, but Murray still considers the tournament a victory of sorts after coming through four matches in as many days - all but one going to three sets - without his back bothering him.

Murray underwent a minor operation in September to alleviate the longstanding issue and subsequently missed four months. He then enjoyed an encouraging run to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, where he fell to Roger Federer.

On Monday night Murray is due to face Novak Djokovic in a World Tennis Day exhibition match at Madison Square Garden in New York.

"The first few tournaments back were hard but my body feels good now," Murray said at a press conference ahead of the match.

"Last week in Acapulco I played four matches in four days, three three-set matches which didn't start until late, woke up the next day and felt fine for the first time since the surgery. That shows I am starting to recover properly which is great."

Murray's coach Ivan Lendl also believes the Wimbledon winner can make a surprise bid for French Open glory this year with his back issues now behind him.

His run to the semi-finals in 2011 apart, Murray has generally failed to impose himself on the clay of Roland Garros, though Lendl is adamant he is a serious contender.

"I think clay is a very good surface for Andy," said Lendl at a separate World Tennis Day exhibition in London. "A lot of clay-court matches come down to conditioning, which is his strength, and patience, which is his strength. I see absolutely no reason why he can't be very successful.

"[In the past] he was always complaining that the back was an issue on clay. Hopefully that has gone. And once you're not afraid or fearful of the pain then you enjoy it more and you get more confidence. It goes together."

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