• Wimbledon

Murray: French Open absence a blessing

ESPN staff
June 8, 2013
Andy Murray will be back in action this week at Queen's © AP

Andy Murray has revealed missing the French Open through injury will be a blessing in disguise and aid his chances of winning at Wimbledon.

The British No. 1 retired from his last-32 encounter against Marcel Granollers in Rome with a back injury after the second set, and decided to skip Roland Garros in order to recuperate for the grass court campaign.

And ahead of this week's Aegon Championships at Queen's, the Scot is fit and primed for a return to the circuit.

"I feel really good," the US Open champion said. "I took maybe eight or nine days' full rest doing nothing, got my back checked out and had some scans, saw some doctors and specialists and basically came up with a plan to get myself as fit as possible for the grass court season. I've had no setbacks yet, I've practised well for the last three or four days so it should be good."

Murray added the extra time to prepare for his home grand slam has helped him to settle on the grass quicker than usual.

"After Wimbledon last year I took five or six days off and, when I started practising again [for the Olympics], I felt really comfortable on the grass straight away and that isn't normally the case," last year's finalist at SW19 said.

"Grass takes time to get used to. I've been on the grass for 10 days or so and that's probably a week longer than I would have had if I'd been at the French Open. It's more than I've had the past few years and I've been playing better and better each day in practice so hopefully it will turn out to be a blessing."

Murray watched the five-set epic between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals of the French Open on Friday, and the world No. 2 says he would not have been able to play at that level had he participated at Roland Garros.

"It was a hard decision but that sort of match is the reason why I wouldn't be playing at the French Open," Murray said. "I wouldn't have been able to compete at the level I wanted to. It was a really hard decision because I play well at the slams and the big events.

"Since Wimbledon last year I've made three slam finals and, if I would have been able to have a good run at the French, well, it's not often you get to compete in four slam finals in a row.

"That's why it's disappointing because that was a goal of mine. I trained really hard on clay this year to try to give myself the best chance but my back just wasn't good enough to compete properly."

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