Marriage makes Murray immortal and Scot can claim French Open next
Andy Murray is in the form of his life, at least on clay courts, after winning his first two titles (German and Madrid Opens) on the surface in successive weeks.
His success in the second event in Spain was by far the more impressive achievement as, not only did he claim the Masters competition in the Spanish capital, he beat home hope and defending champion Rafael Nadal in the final.
On top of the Scot defeating his friend on tour, he did so in such dominant fashion in under an hour-and-a-half, by a sublime 6-3 6-2 scoreline, and this was against a Nadal that looked back to his best form in the earlier rounds.
Following the match in front of Nadal’s home Spanish crowd, Murray said: “It’s one of the hardest things in tennis to try and win against Rafa on clay, so I’m glad I’ve managed to do it [for the first time in seven].
“I made very few errors and changed the height of the ball extremely well, which was part of the reason why he was mistiming a few shots.
“I used the second serve into the forehand a lot and that worked well because I was able to get him moving. I dealt with all of the nervy moments I had in the match pretty well.”
Following his reign in Spain, will Murray now be able to continue his remarkable form on the orange surface to the French Open, that begins on May 24th?
He certainly looks untouchable of late, and that is even in spite of complaining of tiredness after having to play an early round match until 3am in Madrid.
It may or may not be a coincidence, but the Scotsman is undefeated since tying the knot with long-term partner Kim Sears in April, which he acknowledged by writing the words ‘Marriage Works!’ on the camera lens after beating Nadal.
As a result of his recent success, Coral have priced up the Brit’s odds to win at Roland Garros for the first time to 7/1 now. He is behind just favourite and world number one Novak Djokovic (5/6) and Nadal (5/2), who will be going for his 10th title.
However, first Murray is set to decide on taking part in another Masters event, the Rome Open, which will include Djokovic this time. The Scot (odds-on 1/8 favourite) is scheduled to face Jeremy Chardy (9/2) in the second round, but is yet to confirm his participation.
“I’m definitely going to fly to Rome, and then decide whether or not I play the vent probably when I get there,” Murray said.
“I mean, I kind of said that the last couple of weeks have been at altitude and it is different when you play at sea level.
“Obviously the conditions are a little slower and it would be good to get some matches but also there’s a very busy few months coming up.
“I played a lot of tennis this year and I need to make the right decision because the French Open, then Wimbledon, they come around very quickly.
“Although there’s three weeks between the French Open and Wimbledon this year you want to use that time as best you can to get used to the grass and gain an advantage over the opposition by spending as much time on the surface as possible.
“I’ll speak to [my coaches] Amelie [Mauresmo] and Jonas [Bjorkman] and decide when I get there.”
This could potentially be a highly successful summer for Murray, who will attempt to become one of the very few men to win the French Open and then Wimbledon in the same year.
The Scottish superstar, who has moved back up to number three in the world rankings, will have the chance to claim his third Grand Slam title, and first at Roland Garros, before then hoping to reclaim the SW19 trophy. He is priced at 7/2 to win Wimbledon (second-favourite).