Andy Murray feared a week’s absence after pulling out of Rome Open

 
Ross McLean
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BRITAIN’S Andy Murray admits his participation at the French Open may have been on the line had he not taken the decision to withdraw from the Rome Masters yesterday.

World No3 Murray was due to face Belgium’s David Goffin for a place in the quarter-final but pulled out citing fatigue, interrupting a clay-court revival that stands at 10 consecutive wins.

His resurgence included maiden titles on the surface in back-to-back tournaments in Munich and Madrid, reigning in Spain after beating home favourite Rafael Nadal for the first time on clay.

The 27-year-old’s form has hinted at a potential tilt at the French Open, which starts on 24 May, although the two-time grand slam winner insisted that his punishing recent schedule could have ruined that hope.

“It wasn’t just about today’s match. It was about the rest of the tournament and further down the line the possibility of getting sick and missing five, six or seven days,” said Murray, who has never reached the final at Roland Garros.

“There’s no long-term injuries to worry about. Things are a little bit stiff and sore because of the amount of matches I’ve played. I’m going to take a few days’ rest and not go on the court. We had a proper conversation, weighing up all the pros and cons, but I’m very tired and need to take a break.”

“It didn’t make sense for me to keep going because when you fee like this it becomes a risk to play.”

Murray’s hectic schedule was compounded when his second-round clash against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber in Madrid started after 1am local time and finished at 3am.

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