Andy Murray's career-long quest to win at Roland Garros will not come to fruition in 2013.
According to BBC Sport's Twitter feed, Murray officially withdrew from the French Open on Tuesday due to lingering back issues:
BBC Sport @BBCSport
BREAKING: @andy_murray withdraws from French Open on medical advice, because of injury - via @5livetennis2013-5-21 21:22:35
After the news broke about his withdrawal, Murray released a statement, per The Scottish Sun's Sport Twitter feed:
Scottish Sun Sport @scotsunsport
Andy Murray: "It's been a really tough decision, and I love playing in Paris, but after seeking medical advice I'm not fit to compete."2013-5-21 21:45:12
He said that this ailment isn't new and it took away from his enjoyment of the game.
"It's been an issue for a while now and I want to make sure it goes away," Murray said (per the BBC). "It's not enjoyable when you're playing in pain."
Murray's decision was made after undergoing a scan, per the Daily Mail's Mike Dickson. It's unclear what Murray's prognosis was following that appointment.
While this news undoubtedly comes as a disappointment to the world's second-ranked player, there had been speculation about Murray's status for weeks. The 26-year-old Murray was forced to retire during his second-round matchup versus Marcel Granollers in last week's Italian Open due to the issue, casting a shadow of doubt over his French Open status.
Speaking after his retirement against Granollers, Murray acknowledged it was unlikely we'd see him in Paris.
"I pulled out because there is a good chance I wouldn't be playing tomorrow. We'll have to wait for Paris. I'd be very surprised if I were playing in Paris," Murray said to Reuters (via Yahoo! Sports).
All things considered, Murray is likely making a sound long-term decision. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament where he has never made the final, and his only semifinals appearance was in 2011. Last year, the fourth-seeded Murray was upset by sixth-seeded David Ferrer three sets to one in the quarterfinals.
With the grass-court season—Murray's speciality—getting underway after the French Open, Murray is making a forward-thinking decision to sit out. Ben Rothenberg of The New York Times noted that Murray likely made the correct decision considering his up-and-down history at Roland Garros:
Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg
Andy Murray pulling out of the French just now was the only smart move…no reason to risk health on grass for a very uphill battle on clay.2013-5-21 21:20:06
Murray's withdrawal obviously makes things easier for contemporaries Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. The defending champion Nadal had already passed David Ferrer for the No. 4 seed, but Murray's absence pushes Nadal to the No. 3 seed.
The official draw for the French Open will be held on Friday, May 24, and action gets underway at Roland Garros on Sunday.
Follow Tyler Conway on Twitter: Follow @tylerconway22