Andy Murray confident he is in good shape as he prepares for return from injury in Monte Carlo

Telegraph Sport
Andy Murray during a practice session in the glorious surroundings of Monte Carlo - REUTERS

Andy Murray is confident he is ready to return to action tomorrow following an elbow injury.

The world No 1 is set for a first competitive match since early March when he takes on Gilles Muller in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

Murray last played in Indian Wells and missed Great Britain’s Davis Cup defeat by France as he continued his recovery. But he believes he is now in good shape to resume the build-up towards the French Open, where he was runner-up in 2016, and defending his Wimbledon title this summer.

“I would not start the tournament unless I felt comfortable doing that [going full tilt],” Murray said in a video interview on the ATP World Tour website. “I have only been really serving at my normal pace the last couple of days as I was trying to build it up slowly to time it right for the beginning of the tournament ... and the elbow has been feeling better every day, so I am positive about that.”

Murray, who received a bye into the second round in Monte Carlo, added: “It is not going to be easy, the first tournament coming back after a while, but I am feeling good and hopefully I can do it.”

Murray has not played since a shock defeat in the second round of Indian Wells

Luxembourg’s Muller, 33, defeated Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-2 in the first round. Murray has won all his previous five matches against the world No 28. 

World No 2 Novak Djokovic came close to an early exit but finally emerged triumphant 6-3, 3-6 7-5, against France’s Gilles Simon. The Serbian was broken for 5-4 in the decider but bagged three games in a row to end Simon’s resilience and reach the third round of the first European clay court tournament of the season. Djokovic will next face either Russian Karen Khachanov or 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, of Spain. “It was a very difficult match, with many changes of momentum,” said Djokovic.

Earlier, local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, back from a one-month lay-off, was knocked out by fellow Frenchman, qualifier Adrian Mannarino, 6-7, 6-2, 6-3. 

Back on court for the first time since the birth of his son, the seventh seed led 3-0 in the first set, but then struggled with the mix of baseline shots and slices from Mannarino. Mannarino broke Tsonga six times and will next face Lucas Pouille or Paolo Lorenzi.

Veteran Tommy Haas, the oldest player in the draw at 39, ousted Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-2, 6-3 to set up a meeting with ninth-seeded Tomas Berdych in the second round.

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