TWO titles won in six days and now Andy Murray is a contender for the French Open title. On Sunday night he played the clay-court match of his life to dismiss Rafael Nadal and lift the Mutua Madrid Open trophy.
Coming after his Munich Open crown, won in a rain-delayed final last Monday, Murray is now the man of the moment on clay. It took him just 88 minutes to deal with Nadal 6-3, 6-2 and while he is not getting ahead of himself after the victory, he knows he has as good a chance as any when he gets to Paris.
No way would I go into Roland Garros feeling I was one of the favourites.Andy Murray
“This obviously gives me confidence,” Murray said, “but no way would I go into Roland Garros feeling I was one of the favourites. But if I play like that and the way I have the last couple of weeks, I’ll give myself an opportunity and that’s all you can ask of yourself.
“With the players that are around at the moment, you can’t expect to win every event but if you prepare as best as you can and give yourself opportunities then hopefully one of them will go your way. I felt like I deserved to win this week.
“I think I wasn’t expecting this a couple of weeks ago, so when things are unexpected, it feels nicer. I didn’t feel like I put too much pressure on myself the last couple of weeks, which is a good thing. But obviously to win a Masters Series on clay for me is a step in the right direction. It’s something I had never done before. Obviously to win against Rafa on clay in a final in Spain is an extremely difficult thing to do, and I’m proud that I’ve managed to do that.”
Murray will travel to Rome today but he is still not sure whether he will play there or not this week. He wants to pace himself for the weeks ahead with Roland Garros and Wimbledon looming large on the horizon.
“It would be good to get a couple of matches next week,” he said. “But it’s also a very busy few months coming up and I need to make the right decision because the French Open and Wimbledon, they come around very quickly.”