Injured Andy Murray unlikely to play at French Open
Andy Murray says he would be "very surprised" to be fit for the French Open after retiring injured against Marcel Granollers at the Italian Open.
The Briton endured a miserable 26th birthday as he retired from his second-round tie with a lower back injury.
Murray looked troubled throughout and despite battling back to win the second set tie-break on the Rome clay, he then withdrew before the decider.
The second Grand Slam tournament of the year begins at Roland Garros on 26 May.
Image of Russell Fuller Russell Fuller
BBC Radio 5 live in Rome
"Medical prognoses from players in the heat of the moment can prove unreliable, but Andy Murray's instinct is telling him that he's a serious doubt for Roland Garros.
"The decision to retire from the match came swiftly, and after his most inspired tennis, and he will now consult a range of experts before deciding whether the French Open is a realistic option.
"With Wimbledon and his US Open title defence on the horizon, Murray is concerned that a series of gruelling matches on clay could have even more serious long term repercussions."
"I would be very surprised if I was playing in Paris," said Murray.
"I need to make a plan as to what I do. I'll chat with the guys tonight and make a plan for the next few days then make a decision on Paris after the next five days.
"I want to make sure it goes away. It's been a problem since the end of 2011 but it got bad during last year's clay season."
The Scot's only previous mid-match retirement coincidentally came on his 20th birthday, when he snapped a tendon in his wrist at the 2007 Hamburg Masters.
That was the most serious injury Murray has suffered and led to him missing both the French Open and Wimbledon, and he will be hopeful of avoiding a similar fate this time.
Granollers, ranked 37th in the world, dominated the opening set on the Rome clay as Murray struggled to find any rhythm, his repeated failure to find the necessary depth with his shots allowing the Spaniard to attack the net.
The Spaniard's confidence grew visibly following the first set and he broke Murray again in an epic second-set opener that went to 10 deuces.
Things looked even worse for Murray when he required on-court treatment after the third game of the second set.
The US Open champion cut a dejected figure as he lost 10 consecutive points following his enforced break for treatment - but momentum then started to swing between the pair.
Murray trailed 4-1 in the second set before showing great determination to reduce Granollers's lead to 4-3 and put pressure on the Spaniard for the first time in the match.
Nerves appeared to affect the 27-year-old as he aimed for a first victory against Murray in three attempts and the British number one, now appearing to move more freely, took advantage to level at 4-4.
Granollers broke Murray's serve in the ninth game, but failed to serve out the match in the 10th and with conditions becoming increasingly testing, with swirling winds whipping around the court, the set went to a tie-break.
Murray, who has never won a title on clay, levelled the match when Granollers pushed a forehand long, before heading to his chair and informing the umpire he was retiring - to the amazement of Granollers and the Rome crowd.