Murray to be 'sharp' for French Open

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Andy Murray will take part in the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam next week Andy Murray will take part in the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam next week

Andy Murray's gruelling back injury rehabilitation could boost his French Open campaign, according to coach Ivan Lendl.

Two-time Grand Slam winner Murray forced his way past back trouble to compete in the season-opening Australian Open last month.

Lendl said the 26-year-old Scot pushed hard for a return, condensing fitness and rehab work in the process.

Murray slipped out of the Australian Open at the quarter-finals, seen off by Roger Federer.

Eight-time Grand Slam champion Lendl believes Murray will not start to feel the benefit of that punishing schedule until at least next month.

By the time Roland Garros comes along in May, Lendl expects Murray to be in both top shape, and form.

"Our preparation for Australia was a little condensed after injuries," said Lendl. "He was a little fatigued because he had to do so many things, so many hours of fitness and tennis in a shorter period of time than usual.

"But I don't think that time is going to get lost, I think it's going to start paying dividend around March.

"The schedule has been pretty much set, it's pretty good leading up to the French.

"There's time for Andy to be sharp for the French and that's what we're working towards now of course."

Murray helped Great Britain storm into the Davis Cup quarter-finals for the first time since 1986 with victory over the USA in California last week.

Lendl said the team element of Davis Cup action definitely hands the world number six a boost for his singles career.

"The Davis Cup is very well known for helping big players to transform their careers," said Lendl.

"That's not something that Andy needs at this point of course.

"But Andy really enjoys the Davis Cup camaraderie, being with the guys, and we see it at other events when the guys come to help him warm up, you can really see that Andy enjoys their company.

"So he's always looking forward to being around the guys, and that's important.

"Once you're comfortable like that it makes for a better week, a pleasant time, and that will definitely benefit."

Lendl will roll back the years in taking on Australian Pat Cash at London's Earls Court on World Tennis Day, March 3.

Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras will also lock horns in a billing of the game's greats.

Eagerly anticipating the event, Lendl said the duo's history will have no bearing on a rivalry more light-hearted now than in times past.

"It was always a good battle with Pat, and I don't expect any different now," said Lendl.

"We still take pride in performing to the best we can, but obviously we don't play the way we used to!

"We'll still throw everything into it though, and hopefully we can give a good show to the crowd."

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree