• French Open

Federer: Murray right to put long-term health first

ESPN staff
May 22, 2013
Roger Federer believes niggling injuries are an unavoidable part of professional tennis © AP

Roger Federer believes Andy Murray has made the right decision in putting his long-term health ahead of his French Open ambitions.

Murray, the current world No. 2, pulled out of the Roland Garros event on Tuesday - citing an ongoing lower back problem that forced him to withdraw from the recent ATP Tour event in Rome.

While Federer - who will profit from the Scot's absence by rising to second in the seedings for the Paris grand slam - noted that niggling injuries are part and parcel of life as a world-class tennis player, the Swiss believes it is better to take a precautionary break than let such problems become something truly serious.

"Those [back problems] are normal tennis injuries to have," Federer told Sky Sports. "There is wear and tear, there are niggling injuries.

"The only problem is if you play too long with something that hurts. It's just not so much fun anymore."

Federer, 31, has taken to limiting his professional tournament appearances in recent years, primarily in a bid to ensure he is as fit as possible for the year's four grand slam events.

Watching the French Open from the sidelines, Murray will now focus on his rehabilitation as he bids to return to full fitness by the start of the grass court season.

Murray said on Tuesday: "It is a really tough decision and I love playing in Paris, but after seeking medical advice, I am not fit complete."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.