• Murray opens Rome bid on Wednesday

    5/14/13 8:48 PM | Kelli DeMario
    Murray opens Rome bid on Wednesday World No. 2 Andy Murray will be in second-round action at the Masters 1000 Rome, set to take on Spain's Marcel Granollers. The players are meeting for their first clay-court match in more than seven years.

    World No. 2 Andy Murray holds a 3-0 lifetime edge against world No. 37 Marcel Granollers. Wednesday signals their first clay-court meeting since 2006.

    Murray makes his return to competition following a quarterfinal finish at the Masters 1000 Madrid. The 25-year-old Scot won consecutive matches before falling to World No. 6 Tomas Berdych, 6-7(3), 4-6.

    “Practice is important for me on this surface more than most because I need to get used to the movements again, patterns of play that I use on this surface, which is different to the other courts,” Murray explained.

    “I need to get used to playing points again on this surface, because there are things that you do on the clay that don't necessarily work on other surfaces, and things that work on other courts don't work so well on the clay. So it takes a lot of time on the court practicing and playing a lot of sets for me to get back into that routine.”

    Granollers is through to the second round after taking out former world No. 3 Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets. The 26-year-old Spaniard is seeking his ninth tour-level victory of the season.

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#Happy Birthday, Andy

nadline , 5/15/13 12:21 PM

Happy birthday, Muzza, 26 yrs young!

RT: @Mike_Dickson_DM: "Its Andy Murray's birthday and he's still only 26, the lucky sod. This afternoon he plays Spain's Marcel Granollers. "

I guess we can also say Rafa is ONLY 26! Not that any of the journos would agree.....

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 12:49 PM

So, Adidas, is this Muzza's tennis uniform henceforth? I mean, we get that he has sculpted his shoulders but c'mon, are the shirt designers on strike?

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 2:45 PM

Andy clearly has hip problems and looks as if he's going out. Gr8 birthday present...not.
RG round the corner too. :( Bum.

deuce , 5/15/13 2:45 PM

Happy birthday, Andy!!! Hope you dont go down in your first match today as I see youve lost the first set!

Monalysa , 5/15/13 2:50 PM

I would be very surprised if Muzza loses this, watch the UEs pile up for Granola bar now....

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 2:53 PM

MTO Muzza, whistles from the crowd. Whatever you do Muzza, please do not invite them to fellate never know with Romans do you, they may take you up on your invitation! Then where would you be..............

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 3:01 PM

Marcel's net play has been outstanding so far..............

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 3:03 PM

I think Murray will be outsed

Shireling , 5/15/13 3:06 PM

No fun watching an upset as a result of an injury..........

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 3:09 PM

Trainer on and after Andy's game goes from bad to worse. :(
Poor Andy, clay just does not suit. Had back problems here last year. Clay must aggravate back condition, probably because he is not happy moving.

deuce , 5/15/13 3:09 PM

Poor Andy!!! Well, look up on the bright side.................more time to ready himself for RG!

Monalysa , 5/15/13 3:13 PM

Granollers should have an MTO now, for his head!

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 3:13 PM

Ooops..........spoke too soon!!

Monalysa , 5/15/13 3:22 PM

I will not give up on Muzza until the Umpire says GSM Granollers precisely because Granollers can be counted on to self-destruct.........

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 3:27 PM

Told you so......

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 3:31 PM

What Just happened??

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 3:48 PM

onto another set then

Shireling , 5/15/13 3:50 PM

Let me get this right:

1. Grannollers led 4-1 in the 2nd set, 1 set in the pocket;
2. Granollers was serving for the 2nd set;
3. Granollers was serving for the match in the TB;
4. Muzza wins the 2nd set; 1 set a piece
5. Muzza retires
6. Granollers then shamelessly signs the camera lens as the winner!

Sooooo, Muzza practically begged Granollers to take him out of his misery and Granollers would not oblige, so Muzza decided to take HIMSELF out of his misery!

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 3:53 PM

Strange ending.Murray's a quirky character.

stratocast51 , 5/15/13 3:54 PM

Murray retires?!!

Monalysa , 5/15/13 3:54 PM

Bizarre stat. Murray has retired only twice in his tour career. Both have come on his birthday, 15th May.
Retweeted by Rob Koenig


Conspirator , 5/15/13 3:56 PM

Sad that today is his birthday..........enjoy the rest of the day, Andy. They could have drawn Rafa in his half.

nadline , 5/15/13 3:58 PM

what a shame, Andy
I hope this injury is short-lived

chlorostoma , 5/15/13 3:59 PM

Saw first set and thought something wasn't right about muzz's mobility. He was frequently slow in stepping back and adjusting when the ball was sent deep to the baseline - something muzz is normally really good at, not just quickly adjusting his footing but then returning with interest. Granollers was winning the longer rallies with muzz often leaning backwards and sending the above kind of returns into the net.

alex , 5/15/13 3:59 PM

Very strange to say the least, don't know what to make of this, why didn't he just chuck it in in the middle of the set?

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 4:00 PM

When SKY spoke to Murray earlier, he seemed up for it. He fancied his chances here and was pleased that he was playing in daytime because of the high bounce as opposed to Madrid where he played at night. So it's a mystery as to when he sustained the injury.

nadline , 5/15/13 4:03 PM

RT @Mike_Dickson_DM: "This all obviously begs the question, why bother finishing the set if you know you're going to pull out hurt anyway? "

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 4:04 PM

I was just checking the scores and saw that Andy had just won the 2nd set, that's why I wrote my last post.... weird Andy, crawls up a set just to retire later.. then again, only he knows what was going on.

Shireling , 5/15/13 4:04 PM

RT @Ringham7: "So it seemed that he had just made up his mind to retire no matter what - something he very rarely does. Obviously thinking of Paris "

Of course he was ailing, but the manner of his retirement is troubling because it looks like he PLANNED to retire, not a good show......

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 4:08 PM

I think murray wanted to play the 2nd set to give the crowd a show and finish the match off. I don't think he foresaw that granollers would choke the way he did. Hence the retired.

tj600 , 5/15/13 4:13 PM

RT @Ringham7: "It's obvious Murray's injured but, being a stubborn fighter, he wanted to prove a point. He did. Now let's see what happens in Paris "

Sorry, what point would that be? And for whose benefit exactly?

Colour me mystified........

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 4:13 PM

We'll know more at his presser.

nadline , 5/15/13 4:19 PM

Andy had back problems in Madrid. I think he just wanted to have a go and see how he felt during a match. Conditions were poor for aches and pains though- raining, cold overcast. A doesn't play too good in them anyway.
Last time he retired, spookily on his bd he was out for 4 months! Nooooo :(

deuce , 5/15/13 4:28 PM

Nah Deuce,

Murray will be fine in time for RG! Keep the hopes up!!

Monalysa , 5/15/13 4:31 PM

RT @Mike_Dickson_DM: "Waiting for Andy Murray to discuss curious events. Guess is his retirement was more precautionary and didn't want to lose match ahead of RG. "

How stupid is this Mike Dickson character? Let me see: Muzza did not want to lose a match so he just........lost it??

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 4:37 PM


deuce , 5/15/13 4:46 PM

^Hmm don't know what the heck happened there....
Anyway, who is this idiot Michael Dickson? It's "precautionary" to retire mid match. Given Andy's virtually unblemished record on retirements, that's very funny. Wonder he ever plays any matches he could possibly lose...
Hope u r right but whatever happens am not hopeful of success at RG. Quarters maybe?
The really good news is, not many clay points to defend.
Luv Pollyanna.

deuce , 5/15/13 4:50 PM

This Mike Dickson fellow is the UK Daily Mail's (explains his stupidity) sports journo, covers tennis.............

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 5:07 PM

This is from a poster on another site (ATP)!! Pardon me, but I found it to be absolutely hilarious!!!

"Murray just retired against Granollers after winning the second set after being down 1-4 15-40. one of the wierdest matches one will get to see. I liked the way commentator said, a huge choke job by Spaniard, but Murray is like: if you cannot win against me I might as well give up :-)"

Monalysa , 5/15/13 5:17 PM

Getting worse............

RT @Mike_Dickson_DM: "Andy Murray says its 'unlikely' he will play french open due to lower back problems. "

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 5:44 PM

Andy Murray says its 'unlikely' he will play french open due to lower back is so unfortunate...

natashao , 5/15/13 5:47 PM

he'll play

RickyDimon , 5/15/13 5:49 PM

There is not much space between RG and Wimbledon to rest and recover and he's got SF points to defend at Wimbledon plus his 750 Olympic points will come off 1st week in August. He's only got 360 points to defend at RG so he might as well sacrifice RG to be fit for Wimbledon.

nadline , 5/15/13 5:51 PM

Ricky, have you told Andy that he is playing RG?

nadline , 5/15/13 5:53 PM

So, can we now just resign ourselves to the "fact" that Muzza and clay do not mix and temper our expectations accordingly, moving forward? I mean, we did hold some hope before this, and I think his camp did too, going by their pronouncements pre-European clay season...

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 5:57 PM

Glad Andy confirms what we knew already, RG is the most difficult Slam to play and win:

RT @Mile_Dickson_DM: "?Downbeat press conference with Andy Murray, he?ll give it 4-5 days and then take a view on whether he?s ready for ?most physical? Slam. Andy Murray says its ?unlikely? he will play french open due to lower back problems. ?

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 6:11 PM

How could Andy be so poor on clay when it is on the clay surface that he trained before he became!!

Monalysa , 5/15/13 6:14 PM

Too bad for the Muzz. Hope he's ok for Wimby where he has a great chance.

The French will be disappointed because they won't be able to put Rafa in Nole's quarter.


Conspirator , 5/15/13 6:17 PM

RickyDimon, 5/15/13 5:49 PM
still using that crystal ball that got you predict Almagro in the Rome finals...:))

with the back problems Andy has to rest at least for a week and he hasn't been playing much on clay and won't be able to practice at all...this is his least favorite why would he decide to play RG to risk further more serious injury when he knows he stands little chance to win a match at the "most physical Slam"...I don't think he will play...

natashao , 5/15/13 6:21 PM

Hoping Muzza has a speedy recovery but if he is sure he is not playing RG hope he makes a definitive announcement soon so Rafa does not bust his guts trying to win Rome for RG seeding purposes.............

rafaisthebest , 5/15/13 6:23 PM

I woke up to see that Granollers went through and then saw "retired" next to it. Sorry to hear that Murray has some back issues. I am also sad to hear that he may not play RG.

I hope that Andy gets better very soon.

Nativenewyorker , 5/15/13 6:55 PM

Bummer :(((

This is certainly not what he wanted to happen for his birthday. Truly unfortunate :(. I hope he gets well soon and gets ready for Wimbledon where he defends the final.
I am really sorry when I see any of them injured. Man, it sucks :(

danica , 5/15/13 7:14 PM

Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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