Things were not looking good for Andy Murray in May.
After coming off the best stretch of his career -- Olympic gold, a U.S. Open title and a runner-up finish at the Australian Open -- Murray seemed poised for a run at Roland Garros.
But at a French Open tuneup in Italy, Murray felt a recurrence of a lower back injury, which had bugged him on and off since 2011. He noticed it in practice and then ultimately had to retire from a second-round match against Marcel Granollers because the pain had become so severe.
One year earlier Murray had suffered back spasms at the French Open, and his gingerly demeanor on the court led former British tennis star Virginia Wade to call Murray a "drama queen." Strong words coming from the last British player to win Wimbledon.
Murray referenced Wade's comments while explaining why he pulled out of his match against Granollers in May.
"It's the [problem] I had during the clay-court season last year, which was apparently not an injury according to a lot of people," Murray said, "and it's been there for a few months now."
Pulling out of Roland Garros wasn't an easy decision for Murray, who is reaching the peak of his career and hadn't missed a Grand Slam since 2007.
"It's been a really tough decision, and I love playing in Paris, but after seeking medical advice I'm not fit to compete," he said.
But it didn't take Murray long to eliminate any questions or doubt about his form. The 26-year-old cruised through Wimbledon, capping off his incredible run with an extremely impressive straight sets win over Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday.
In that sense, then, it seems like it was worth it for Murray to play it safe and pull out of the French Open. Not only did he have time to recover, he also had time to mentally prepare for the toughest task of his career. In the fast and furious spring tennis season, that can be a serious advantage.