ROME — No. 2 Andy Murray said he’s “unlikely” to play the French Open because of a lower-back injury that caused him to retire from his second-round match against Marcel Granollers at the Italian Open on Wednesday.
Murray called it quits on his 26th birthday after rallying from a 4-1 deficit to win the second set in a tiebreaker against Granollers, who took the first set 6-3. The Scot received treatment on his back during the second set.
“I would be very surprised if I was playing in Paris,” Murray told reporters afterward, according to ESPN.
Murray said he would wait a few days to see how his back responds before deciding whether to play the French Open, which begins May 26. The Scot made the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2011 and the quarterfinals in 2009 and 2012.
“I want to make sure it goes away,” he said. “It’s been a problem since the end of 2011, but it got bad during last year’s clay season.”
If Murray withdraws from the French Open, seven-time champion Rafael Nadal would receive a top-four seed regardless of the results at the Italian Open. Nadal, ranked fifth, entered the week with a chance to overtake David Ferrer for No. 4. If Nadal is a top-four seed, he would avoid a potential quarterfinal match with Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer. The earliest Nadal could face either player would be the semifinals.