Wimbledon is 'big target' for Murray

  • By: Andy Schooler (Twitter: @NetTalkTennis)
  • Last Updated: May 23 2013, 8:11 BST

Andy Murray's best friend Ross Hutchins believes the decision to miss the French Open was taken with Wimbledon firmly in mind.

Andy Murray: Has opted to rest his bad back
Andy Murray: Has opted to rest his bad back

Murray announced on Tuesday night that he would be unable to compete at Roland Garros due to an ongoing back problem.

He will now hope that a three-and-a-half-week rest period between the Rome Masters and the start of the grasscourt season gets him back in shape for a crack at the Wimbledon title.

Doubles specialist Hutchins is currently undergoing treatment for cancer but will attend the French Open as part of the British Eurosport punditry team.

Hutchins told sportinglife.com: "I have spoken to him (Murray). It's a difficult decision - you always want to play at the Grand Slams more than any other tournament.

"After moving up to number two in the rankings, he wanted to justify his place there and then look to number one which he definitely wants.

"Ultimately Wimbledon is a 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."

The Davis Cup star added: "He needs to do everything he can to win Wimbledon. 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.

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

Will he be ready for the grasscourt season? Murray is due to appear next at Queen's Club starting on June 10.

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"Wimbledon, that's his main goal," continued Hutchins. "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. Playing five sets in a Grand Slam isn't ideal for him (at the moment).

"The whole year you target the big ones - your year is determined by how you do at them.

"The last year Andy's been exceptional at them - he made the final in Australia, was US Open champion, made the Wimbledon final and won the Olympics. They are very impressive results.

"I've missed the last two French Opens with wrist injuries and it's devastating."

Could it be a blessing in disguise?

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."

  • British Eurosport HD will broadcast over 200 hours of live coverage from the French Open, May 26 to June 9. Live multi-court coverage is also available online and on mobile via Eurosport Player - www.eurosportplayer.co.uk.

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