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Missing Paris could be blessing in disguise for Murray

Andy Murray of Britain receives medical care during his match against Marcel Granollers of Spain at the Rome Masters tennis tournament May 1
Andy Murray of Britain receives medical care during his match against Marcel Granollers of Spain at the Rome Masters tennis tournament May 1

LONDON (Reuters) - World number two Andy Murray is hoping his Wimbledon title chances will benefit from his enforced absence from the French Open in Paris.

The Briton ended a sequence of three successive grand slam final appearances when he pulled out of the claycourt event at Roland Garros because of a back injury.

Asked if missing the French Open would improve his hopes at the Queen's Club tournament in London next week and at Wimbledon later this month, Murray replied: "I hope so - that's the sort of attitude you need to take.

"After the French Open last year I took five or six days off and when I started practicing again I felt really comfortable on the grass straight away and that isn't normally the case.

"Grass takes time to get used to. I've been on it for 10 days or so now and that's probably a week longer than I would have had if I'd been at the French," the U.S. Open champion told British newspapers on Saturday.

"It's more than I've had the past few years and I've been playing better and better each day in practice so hopefully it turns out to be a blessing."

Last year Murray became the first British male in 74 years to reach the Wimbledon grasscourt final where he was beaten by Roger Federer.

Roland Garros was the first grand slam Murray had missed since Wimbledon in 2007 when he had a wrist injury.

Rafa Nadal will meet fellow Spaniard David Ferrer in the French Open final on Sunday.

(Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Amlan Chakraborty)

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