Birthday boy Murray pulls out of Italian Open

Andy Murray continues to struggle with form and fitness as he retires from second round match against Marcel Granollers.

    Birthday boy Murray pulls out of Italian Open
    Ahead of French Open, Murray has failed to make semi-finals in his last two tournaments [GALLO/GETTY]

    Andy Murray retired from his second-round match with Spanish opponent Marcel Granollers in the second round of the Italian Open on Wednesday with an apparent injury.

    Murray, who was celebrating his 26th birthday, walked off the court after winning the second set.

    It wasn't immediately clear what was bothering the British player, although he took a long injury break early in the second set, getting his left thigh and lower back massaged.

    Granollers won the first set 6-3 and Murray won the second 7-6 (5).

    "He is a good player and he can do well in Roland Garros and if he has a problem then I can understand he is thinking of Paris"

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    "I think he had a problem with his back," Granollers said.

    This tournament is a key warm-up for the French Open, the year's second Grand Slam, which starts on May 26.

    "He is a good player and he can do well in Roland Garros and if he has a problem then I can understand he is thinking of Paris," Granollers said. 

    Murray called for the trainer while trailing 2-1 in the second set. He then lost the next two games to trail 4-1 before battling back to force a tiebreaker.

    "I think he played better at the end of the second set but he knows his problem," Granollers said.

    The match was played in difficult conditions, with rain drops falling at one point then wind whipping the clay up into the air and players' eyes at other points as the sun also went in and out.

    While he is ranked second this week, Murray is seeded third in this tournament.

    At last week's Madrid Open, Murray was beaten by Tomas Berdych in the quarterfinals.

    Murray's best result in Rome was reaching the semifinals two years ago, when he lost to Novak Djokovic in a third-set tiebreaker.

     

    SOURCE: AP


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