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Andy Murray plays down fears over old back problem

by Eleanor Crooks

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 the 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.

After missing almost four weeks of the season, Murray returned to the tour at Queen's Club last month, winning the title, and had looked in supreme form during his first three matches at the All England Club.

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.

“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 for only the second time in his career 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. That

That sequence will start with a quarter-final against Fernando Verdasco tomorrow.

Discussing his preparations for the remainder of the week 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.”

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