Murray plays down back worries

Congleton Guardian: Andy Murray insists minor injuries are part and parcel of the game Andy Murray insists minor injuries are part and parcel of the game

Andy Murray insisted there is no cause for concern over the state of his back after grinding out a straight-sets victory over Mikhail Youzhny to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals for a sixth straight year.

The second seed clutched at his side a few times during Monday's 6-4 7-6 (7/5) 6-1 win on Centre Court, which was a worrying echo of the back troubles during the clay-court season that led to him pulling out of the French Open.

Although the win came in straight sets, there was not the same fluency about Murray's game, with the Scot having to fight back from 5-2 down in the second set and then 5-3 down in the tie-break. He played down worries over his fitness, though, saying: "There's no cause for concern. My back is what it is. It's felt way, way better than it was a few weeks ago."

Murray continued: "There's a few times on the court where you feel things. You just have to find a way of managing those issues and getting through them because a lot of guys have had problems during this slam especially. A lot of guys have had trainers on court and whatnot. So everyone's got little niggles. You just have to manage them and get through it."

Murray retired mid-match against Marcel Granollers in Rome prior to his French Open withdrawal but, in a Wimbledon tournament that has seen more than its fair share of injury problems, only something drastic would put him out. The second seed said: "Now that I'm playing, there's no chance I would stop unless I couldn't hold the racket."

Murray had 20 minutes of additional treatment on his body after leaving the court to try to ensure he is in prime condition for potentially three matches to come, starting with a quarter-final against Fernando Verdasco on Wednesday.

Murray said: "I need to make sure I do all the right things, like ice-bathing, having my massage, and taking care of my body. Obviously, a few weeks ago I missed the French Open. I don't want it to be a case of things creeping back up on me. I want to take care of my body. It's my main priority this tournament."

A tournament of shocks saw possibly the biggest in the match before Murray's as women's number one seed Serena Williams crashed out against Sabine Lisicki to end a 34-match winning streak. It was another reminder that, as inevitable as a final between Murray and Novak Djokovic may look, nothing can be taken for granted.

"She hasn't lost for a long time," said Murray. "So for her to lose at Wimbledon in the fourth round, especially a match where she'd come back, had a lot of chances, it's surprising.

"When those sort of results can happen to a player as good as her, there's absolutely no reason why it can't happen to me. That's why I'm not getting ahead of myself, and no one else should."

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