Former Wimbledon champion, Goran Ivanisevic, has told Andy Murray to give the French Open a miss to ensure he returns to full fitness in time for another assault on the title at SW19.
A lower-back problem, which plagued Murray throughout the clay-court season in 2012 resurfaced at the Italian Open recently, forcing him to retire from his second-round match against Marcel Granollers. He remains doubtful for the second Grand Slam of the year at Roland Garros.
The British number one battled on with his injury last season as he reached the French Open quarter-finals. His Wimbledon bid was not adversely affected by his decision to play through the pain barrier in Paris. He reached the final for the first time before losing to Roger Federer.
Ivanisevic has warned Murray against taking the same approach this year. He believes the Scot’s hopes of winning a first Wimbledon title would improve by taking a break over the next month.
“He’s not the favourite in the French, a lot of guys can beat him there. I don’t know how bad his injury is. If he’s not 100 per cent, I think he and Ivan (Lendl) will decide not to play, which is better,” said Ivanisevic, who lost Wimbledon finals in 1992, 1994 and 1998 before winning in 2001.
“He can get ready for Wimbledon. His chance this year is huge and I don’t think he wants to risk it, playing in the French and injuring himself more.”
According to the tennis betting news on the Bet365 website, the Croat expects Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic to battle it out for the French Open, which begins next week.
“I have to go with Nadal. There’s only one guy who can beat him there, Djokovic. He has to pray for weather like this, heavy (overcast). When it’s sunny it’s very tough to beat Nadal,” added Ivanisevic.
Keep up with the latest from Roland Garros with betting news and odds from the dedicated Bet365 website.