Andy Murray out of Barcelona Open with elbow injury

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport

Andy Murray has withdrawn from this week's Barcelona Open in order to rest his injured elbow.

The British number one required a cortisone injection before Saturday's Monte Carlo semi-final, which he lost to Rafael Nadal.

"Under advice from medical experts I have had to withdraw from the Barcelona tournament due to a right elbow injury," he said in a statement.

"I'm going to take four to five days' rest and begin practising next week."

Murray had travelled to Barcelona in the hope of taking up his place as the second seed, behind world number one Nadal, but following a scan on Monday and further practice on Tuesday he has chosen to withdraw.

"I can hit the ball fine, it's nothing major," Murray told BBC Scotland. "I played for three hours with it on Saturday so I can still go out and hit the ball and that's not a problem, it's getting rid of the pain.

"To keep playing through it doesn't make any sense, it will make the inflammation worse, so I need to get rid of that and it shouldn't take too long."

The 23-year-old Scot is next schedule to play at the Madrid Masters 1000, which begins on 1 May, followed by the Rome Masters and, from 22 May, the French Open.

In another blow to the Barcelona event, seventh-ranked Tomas Berdych also pulled out on Tuesday because of a stomach virus.