Andy Murray has the best chance he has ever had of winning the French Open this year, says the Scot’s former coach Mark Petchey.
Murray begins his pursuit of a first title at Roland Garros against Argentine qualifier Facundo Arguello today, and the British No 1 arrives on the crest of a wave following his most successful build-up to the tournament.
After winning his first clay-court competition in Munich, Murray recorded his only victory on the red sand over Rafael Nadal in Madrid, with the Spaniard currently struggling to assert his usual dominance on his favourite surface.
Murray is seeded third in Paris, and while he could meet Nadal or Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, Petchey believes that the time is nigh for his former protégé.
“What with Nadal’s form and Andy’s recent results, you’d have to say this is the best chance Andy has ever had to win the French Open,” said Petchey, who coached Murray into the world’s top 50 and will be part of ITV’s coverage of the tournament.
“He’s been doing absolutely fantastically in the build-up, it’s been his best start on clay and obviously that will give him a huge amount of confidence.
“Beating Rafa on clay was a great win for him but more than that, it’s the manner of his performances as well.
“His second serve is as strong as we’ve ever seen it, his backhand down the line has been great and perhaps most importantly, he feels comfortable physically now as well.”
Since appointing Amélie Mauresmo, and more recently Jonas Björkman, to his coaching team, Murray has added more variety and aggression to his game.
The 27-year-old is using more drop-shots, attacking the net more often and adding greater weight to his second serve – adjustments Petchey believes have been integral to his results.