Tennis: Murray to skip clay-court season to protect fitness

Andy Murray crashed out in the second round of the Australian Open. PHOTO: REUTERS

ROTTERDAM (REUTERS) - Former world number one Andy Murray said on Sunday (Feb 6) that he intends to skip the French Open and rest of the clay-court season in order to prevent injury and prolong his career following multiple hip surgeries.

The 34-year-old Murray, who crashed out in the second round of the Australian Open, will be in action at the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam starting Monday after accepting a wildcard to enter the main draw.

"The past couple of years, the clay has made issues worse, "the three-times major winner told reporters ahead of his first-round match against Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik.

"Last year I had some issues at the beginning of the year, the clay didn't help, so I've spoken to my team about that and this year while I feel good and healthy, I don't want to take that risk." Murray, who made the final at Roland Garros in 2016, added that he could return to the surface in the future.

"It's not that I wouldn't potentially play on clay in the future, last year I almost missed Wimbledon, was close to not playing the grass season, I'm not planning on playing the clay, I will still try to compete a bit during that period," said the Briton.

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