Andy Murray's back may sideline him in May. Reuters

Andy Murray is a doubt for the French Open after suffering a lower back problem that forced the world number two to retire from the Italian Open on his 26th birthday on Wednesday.

Murray retired from the contest against Spain's Marcel Granollers moments after leveling the second-round match by winning the second set having already had treatment on court.

"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," he said.

"I need to make plans and see what to do. Tonight I'll speak with the physio and come up with a plan for the next few days and then make a decision on Paris after the next five days."

The French Open starts on May 26.

"I'll need to take some days off and see how it settles down, but a few days can make a difference," Murray was quoted as saying on the official ATP website (

"I'll try and get it sorted but it has been an issue for some while," said Murray. "So I want to make sure that it's something that I can sort out. It's not enjoyable to play now."

Murray, who lost the opening set 6-3 to Granollers, won the second 7-6 but retired having needed treatment on court after the third game of the second set with the Spaniard leading 2-1.

(Reuters - Alan Baldwin)