Murray to skip clay-court season to protect fitness

The 34-year-old Murray, who crashed out in the second round of the Australian Open, will be in action at the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam starting on Monday after accepting a wildcard to enter the main draw.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray reacts during the Australian Open.   -  Reuters

Former world number one Andy Murray said on Sunday he intends to skip the French Open and rest of the clay-court season in order to prevent injury and prolong his career following multiple hip surgeries.

The 34-year-old Murray, who crashed out in the second round of the Australian Open, will be in action at the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam starting on Monday after accepting a wildcard to enter the main draw.

"The past couple of years, the clay has made issues worse," the three-times major winner told reporters ahead of his first-round match against Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik.

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"Last year I had some issues at the beginning of the year, the clay didn't help, so I've spoken to my team about that and this year while I feel good and healthy, I don't want to take that risk."

Murray, who made the final at Roland Garros in 2016, added he could return to the surface in the future.

"It's not that I wouldn't potentially play on clay in the future. Last year I almost missed Wimbledon, was close to not playing the grass season. I'm not planning on playing the clay. I will still try to compete a bit during that period," said the Briton.

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