Since Monte Carlo (and technically on and off for 18 months) Murray has been having problems with his back that have been getting worse and worse over the last few weeks.
Stupidly instead of resting before Roland Garros he played another tournament after Rome.
Now, in Paris, on his least favourite surface, Murray is playing despite having repeated spasms, being barely able to push up to serve, not being able to sit down at change of ends and being unable to move around the court with any of his usual freedom. Murray may have beaten Jarkko Nieminen 1-6, 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 in two hours and 27 minutes but he achieved nothing.
All he did was prolong his suffering.
Murray repeatedly struggled to serve faster that 160kmph during the match when his normal service speed is well over 200kmph. With such restricted court movement you have to wonder who Murray is thinking he can beat when his agility and speed around the court is such a vital part of his game.
It is believed that Murray has had cortisone injections to get himself through the tournament instead of resting and preparing himself for Wimbledon and the Olympics.
Stupidity like this – and it is truly stupid – is one of the reasons Murray will still be Slam-less this year and probably for the next 18 months.
The ridiculous thing is that a discs nutrition is barely viable under normal circumstances. They are supposed to be shock absorbers. When you have been stiff for a while (like Murray obviously has) your disc doesn’t get the end of range movement it needs to stimulate the synthesis of proteoglycans which help suck fluid into the discs when you go to sleep.
Without this stimulus your discs begin to starve and your disc doesn’t rehydrate over night like it should.
The discs shock absorbing abilities are reduced by this dehydration and starvation which then can lead to the facet joints becoming very irritated, very quickly because they start taking more load than they should. The facet joints are extremely vascular and can lead to severe nerve pain that is easily mistaken for a pinched nerve or markedly bulging disc.
Backs in spasm don’t like to rotate and if Murray can’t rotate he can’t generate power. Any significant power he develops will either feed into the spasm or cause him to overload somewhere else – or both.
Andy Murray needs to think about this and think about if the risk of serious damage is worth a tournament which he realistically never stood a chance of winning.
Right now he can’t play five sets, and he certainly can’t beat Nadal, Federer or Djokovic over five sets – he can barely walk according to his interview – so what’s the point?!
“I had a bit of spasm, it hurt when I got up this morning and it was really bad 20 minutes after practice. I couldn’t put any weight on my left leg.
The guys were telling me to stop after the first set, and we spoke about it before the match )the possibility of retiring during play). I just decided to play on. I felt a bit bitter, probably end of the second set. I thought, let’s give it a go, chasing a few balls down. It’s still fairly sore.”
You know what Andy…. It’s not going to feel good tomorrow, if anything it will feel worse.