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Andy Murray has announced he is withdrawing from his Rome campaign due to fatigue. He was due to play David Goffin in the third round but the Belgian has now received a walkover to the quarter-finals.
Murray has won all 10 matches on clay so far this year, including winning consecutive tournaments in Munich and Madrid and that has left him exhausted.
But despite his withdrawal from Rome, he is confident he will be fit enough to compete at Roland Garros, which gets underway next weekend.
“I’m tired, I felt OK yesterday but I was pretty exhausted when I got up,” he explained. “I had a 40 minute warm-up and felt extremely flat and was shattered. I talked to my team about what the best thing to do was. It just did not make sense to play.
“There are all these studies when you are run down you risk injury or illness. I did not feel it made sense to keep going. It was not just about today. It was about trying to make the right decision and listen to what the body was saying. I played nine games in 12 games in a difficult schedule and also a couple of doubles matches in that period.
“It’s been a very long three weeks for me. The longest I’ve ever had on clay.
“The point is I did not expect to do what I have done in the past few weeks. My body has never done that before on clay. My body’s always found the surface difficult.
“I also don’t want to risk making it worse. In the past maybe I’ve done too much.
“I wanted to play in this tournament, it’s a big event with a lot of points on offer. The time of year is tough for everyone, it’s just one of those things.”
Murray stresses that he has no injury concerns other than fatigue.
“I need a few days to recover, I’ll go home and spend a few days,” he said. “I just need some rest and sleep. That’s what I need to do right now. Hopefully I can get to Paris early and do some training there.
“I have no long term injuries to worry about, just things that are a little stiff and sore because of the matches I’ve played.”