YOUNG élite tennis players are damaging their spines through intensive training, research revealed yesterday. Many young players, including Andy Murray, have been hit by back injuries. Earlier this year, one such injury forced the Scot to withdraw from the Monte Carlo Masters and prevented him taking part in the Estoril Open. Now, a study has found the intense training required to give tennis players a chance of climbing the world rankings is causing serious damage to their young spines. A team from the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Middlesex found spinal problems in 28 out of 33 players.
World number 14 Andy Murray won at the Swansea Junior Tennis Championships when he was ten and now thecountdown is on for this year's eventThe draw for the event takes place on Thursday (July 26) and young Roger Federer wannabes from the city and beyond will be keen to see who they will face in the first round.The Swansea Council-backed tournament is takes place from August 13 to August 18 and will see youngsters competing in a variety of age categories."Andy Murray came to Swansea as a young player with a lot of promise in 1997 and now, ten years later, he's British number one and has broken into the world's top 20."
His injury problems began when he hurt his hip, knee and ankle in a fall in Indian Wells and were aggravated when he damaged his groin in practice in Miami. He then injured his back playing doubles in Monte Carlo, lost to Gilles Simon in his comeback match in the Rome Masters and was forced to retire against Filippo Volandri in Hamburg after hurting his wrist.
Meet the man charged with flexing Andy Murray's muscles - fitness guru Mark Grabow. The American is Murray's physical trainer and has masterminded training programmes for the likes of Andy Roddick, Murray's coach Brad Gilbert, Mary Pierce and Jennifer Capriati over the last 20 years. Now that Murray is on the comeback trail after a wrist injury, he is stepping up Grabow's fitness plan, which aims to turn him into the ultimate tennis player within two to three years.Grabow says: "The body of a player works as a kinetic chain, moving up from the feet, through the legs, into the core, and through the back and shoulders." BBC Sport asked Grabow, who also works with NBA team Golden State Warriors, to share the secrets of Murray's fitness plan.
Andy Murray would rather risk another demoralising defeat than suffer on the sidelines for another week, and so will compete at the Masters Series in Cincinnati this week, continuing his comeback from a wrist injury.Murray had emerged from his crushing loss to Fabio Fognini, an Italian ranked outside the top 100, at the Masters Series here on Wednesday to reveal that he was considering a return to his training base in Florida for another week, or even for two, rather than compete in Ohio. Instead, a couple of days' practice here has changed his mind. 'People ask me if it's annoying not to be playing, and of course it is,' Murray said. 'You know, obviously for me the priority is to get fully ready for the US Open.' Had he withdrawn, it would have been for the fifth time in six tournaments, including Wimbledon and the French.
Andy Murray has flown from America to London to seek the comforts of home, before a midweek return across the Atlantic to make a bid to play in the US Open. Murray trained at the Lawn Tennis Association's National Tennis Centre on Friday evening — then looked forward to a reunion this weekend with his girlfriend, Kim Sears.
His manager Patricio Apey said: "It's a sensible move on Andy's part. He can practise at the National Tennis Centre and get some time with Kim before she starts university. It will be therapeutic for him to have a few days away from the tournament scene." Apey expects Murray to fly back to New York on Wednesday, where he will make a final decision on his participation in the US Open.