Bournemouth EchoMurray ready to dig deep in France (From Bournemouth Echo)

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Murray ready to dig deep in France

Bournemouth Echo: Andy Murray Andy Murray

Andy Murray battled through adversity to reach the semi-finals of the French Open 12 months ago, and he is ready to do the same again this year if necessary.

The world number four has been troubled by a back problem and has not made it past the quarter-finals at three clay-court events this season. Former Wimbledon champion Boris Becker suggested Murray should consider pulling out of the French Open to allow his back to recover ahead of a hectic period including Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open.

But the Scot, who came through an exhibition match against Ernests Gulbis on Thursday, insisted the thought had not crossed his mind, and said: "I feel fine. I have been here close to a week now. I've had some good practice and feel good."

Murray pulled out of the Masters Series event in Madrid earlier this month because of the back problem and has appeared physically hampered in a number of matches this season.

He added: "Apart from my back, everything's been fine. But everybody picks up niggles at various times of the season, and sometimes you can get them at points of the year that aren't ideal.

"Sometimes they can happen when you're just going into a rest period or when you start training again and no one hears about them.

"I won't be the only one that's got niggles, but hopefully the worst of it's gone now. The next few months are very important to everybody this year. There's a lot of big tournaments coming up.

"One of the goals in that period is to stay injury free, because if I am then I'll hopefully play some good tennis and have some good results."

Last year Murray went into the tournament in fine form on clay but suffered an ankle injury in the third round and then needed a trip to the dentist after chipping a tooth eating a baguette.

Despite his troubles, Murray reached the semi-finals for the first time at Roland Garros before going down to eventual winner Rafael Nadal in three tight sets.

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