The British tennis player, world number two, Andy Murray is back in Madrid to defend his title and today, on the 5th of May, he opens the day’s play against Gilles Simon on the Manolo Santana Centre Court.
Andy told about his win on the Czech, Radek Stepanek, who is № 148 in the world on Tuesday night at the 2nd round of the tournament. During 2 hours 19 minutes of the play, Andy made 11 aces, realized three break points, and made 2 double mistakes. From his words: “The play of Radek was really good and that was a great difficulty for me. But in the 3rd round I tried to give more rotations to my balls, so that wasn’t easy for Stepanek too”.
Andy Murray returns to the Madrid Masters with high expectations after his breakthrough win at the tournament a year ago. Murray won in Madrid last season for his first ever Masters title on clay.
Earlier in his career, Murray was perceived to have a weakness on clay courts, but now, he feels much more comfortable as far he is more experienced. Since 2006 it was only in 2015 that Andy Murray had won on clay court.
As he told to the Daily Express: “My Expectations have changed a bit on this surface now. I have a bit more belief in myself and think that the French Open is a much higher possibility than it was before”.
“Normally, quarter-finals, semi-finals were a decent or good result for me on clay, whereas now, I don’t view it like that. I can do better. I’ll give it a good shot.”
Murray was speaking ahead of his clash with Gilles Simon at the Madrid Open, which will see the winner progress to the quarter-finals. The Scot has a good record against Simon, having beaten the Frenchman 13 times in 15 meetings, and while the event is not as important as the French Open, Murray still hopes to retain his title.
“You can play well and lose at this level but, obviously, I would love to try and win again, it was one of my biggest achievements in tennis.
More of that, Andy believes he has a “much higher possibility” of winning the French Open thanks to his improvement on clay courts.
“For someone who wasn’t particularly good on clay to have won my first big title when I was 28, 27 years old was a good effort and I’ll try and do it again this year.”
The 31-year-old Frenchman Gilles Simon, ranked №18 in the world, outplayed the 24-year-old Spanish Pablo Carreno Busta, in three sets 2/6,6/3,6/4, at the 2nd round of the Madrid tournament. For 1 hour 49 minutes Simon made 1 ace, 1 double mistake and realized 2 break points.
Simon has been locking horns with Murray since 2007. The players had 15 meetings, but Simon has beaten Murray only twice. And on the two occasions they have met in the Spanish capital since the event moved to clay courts, Murray has emerged the winner. But let us notice that the last two matches on clay finished in 3 rounds.
“I always have my own vision of the play, but to be a good player I have to develop all my skills. I have to be stronger and faster and to serve better. I don’t know where is my maximum, but my goal is to come as close as it is possible to it, to say one day: “I went as far in tennis, as I could”.
“I have always liked to play matches more than just to practice tennis. I liked to gain points. I like the process of competition itself. Running hour by hour in front of the ball machine is not for me. But I was improving my serves while playing a lot of matches. And now, of course, I work more intensive than even other players, and this is true”.
Due to bookmaker ratings and considering all the facts and opinions above and regarding to that fact, that currently Murray is not in his best form, there is a major risk that the play will be longer than usual. So, we expect that the match in total will have more than 20,5 games.
More information about the Mutua Madrid Open