• French Open

Wimbledon behind Murray's withdrawal

ESPN staff
May 23, 2013
Becker also believes that a break could be good for Murray

Andy Murray's fear of missing out on Wimbledon was the reason behind his decision to withdraw from the French Open, according to the Scot's close friend Ross Hutchins.

Murray announced on Tuesday that he wouldn't be playing at the second grand slam of the year at Roland Garros due to an ongoing back problem which saw him retire from last week's Rome Masters.

And Davis Cup star Hutchins, a doubles specialist currently taking a break from the game to receive treatment for cancer, says Murray will now have a three-week break before making an assault on the grass court season which he hopes will culminate in triumph at SW19.

"I have spoken to [Murray]," Hutchins told sportinglife.com. "Wimbledon is the big target for him. He made the final last year and is always improving. Having won his first grand slam title he'll feel like he can win Wimbledon, no question.

"It was a difficult decision [to withdraw from the French Open] - you always want to play at the grand slams more than any other tournament. After moving up to No. 2 in the rankings, he wanted to justify his place there and then look to No. 1 one which he definitely wants.

"Remember he's only 26 so still has four or five years of his peak to go. He can't risk a back injury - that can be very serious and we've seen careers ruined by such problems.

"You never know how a back will react to treatment, that's what the specialist has been saying. It's something he's had for a long time and playing five sets in a grand slam isn't ideal for him [at this time].

"He's down but he'll get over it, he's a big boy."

Murray's next appearance is due to be at the Queen's Club Championship, which begins on June 10, but Hutchins knows where his friend's mind is set.

"The whole year you target the big ones," he added. "Your year is determined by how you do at them and the last year Andy's been exceptional - he made the final in Australia, was US Open champion, made the Wimbledon final and won the Olympics. They are very impressive results."

When asked if it could be a blessing in disguise for Murray, Hutchins said: "I don't think it will in terms of fatigue but from an injury point of view it could be.

"You use the back on every single shot. With Andy's game style he's building the point and needs to move well. He has to be able to play free.

"In terms of feeling loose and fresh, having a mindset that you are injury free, that will help Andy. He won't want any sort of injury going into Wimbledon. If it's possible he'll want to go into Wimbledon 100 per cent fit rather than being 75 per cent for the French and the same for Wimbledon."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.