PARIS -- Ouch. Andy Murray's chances to remain in the French Open might depend on how his leg feels Sunday morning after playing late into the evening Saturday.
With Murray tied 7-7 in the fifth set against No. 28 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, the match was finally called because of darkness at 9:39 p.m. local time after 3½ hours of battle. So we wait, which is probably the last thing either player wanted, especially Murray.
He was up 2-0 and serving in the third game of the fifth set when he suddenly clutched his left hamstring in pain while running to return a shot. Murray lost the game, and, although he kept playing, he didn't seem to move quite as well and occasionally reached back to the leg in the next couple of games. Was he hurt or not? Murray received massages on both legs between games, but, oddly, it was the quads that were massaged.
Murray's season already has been marred by setbacks. He skipped Monte Carlo to "rest" and hasn't played anything close to the form he showed last year in winning Wimbledon. Since the beginning of the year, Murray has reached only one semifinal and did virtually nothing in Madrid or Rome heading into the French Open.
And let's not forget Murray skipped the Asian swing and ATP World Tour Finals a year ago to have what he called "minor back surgery."
This event isn't exactly in his comfort zone, either. Murray prefers a faster surface on which he can leverage his counterpunching game. On clay, he tends to be swallowed by opponents who can keep Murray on his heels, as we saw from Kohlschreiber quite a bit Saturday.
Against the German, Murray has broken nine times so far. And it doesn't help that Murray is converting only half his first serves.
Murray dropped the first set 6-3, rallied back to win the next two 6-3, 6-3 and then put his fans back on edge by losing the fourth set 6-4. And then the leg drama began.
Although Murray has a history of histrionics, he has never lost at a Slam to an opponent seeded outside the top 25. But he also hasn't been seeded this low -- eighth -- in a major since 2008 and has never won a singles title on clay or even reached a tour-level final on the surface. Kohlschreiber also beat Murray in their only previous match, on clay at Monte Carlo four years ago.
The truth is that expectations are low for Murray in Paris. And he might even believe that himself. As it stands, Murray is here without a coach after an amicable split with Ivan Lendl in mid-March. You'd like to think some kind of guidance would serve him well, but -- coach or no coach -- given the Scot's history at the French Open, an early exit would give him more time to prep on grass and defend his coveted Wimbledon trophy.
The postponement also means Murray won't have a day off to recover from his apparent leg ailment. Whether or not Murray pulls the match out Sunday, you have to believe his chances here just went from average to, well, not so average.