Andy Murray ready to go all-in on clay swing
Andy Murray wants to have one last tilt at a deep run in the French Open and intends to play a large portion of the clay swing.
In recent seasons Murray has opted out of a full clay swing over concerns that his fitness wouldn’t hold up.
However after extreme examinations at the Australian Open and more promising signs that the battling Brit could once again hang with the big boys, Murray has renewed confidence.
Murray laid out his clay court plans in a press conference in Doha where he is competing in the Qatar Open.
He came through a tough first round assignment against Lorenzo Sonego, and next up will be out to test the comeback credentials of Alexander Zverev.
Looking ahead to later in the year, Murray outlined his intention to enter the Clay court ATP 1000 events in Rome and Madrid, although he wouldn’t commit to Monte Carlo.
“My plan just now is to play in Rome, Madrid and hopefully the French Open, providing my body is good,” Murray said in Doha according to Eurosport.
“I’ll do a training block after Miami on the clay, I’m going to do that in Europe somewhere for three or four weeks. I’ll train, try and get my body used to the clay courts and monitor how my body is feeling.”
Murray stopped well short of expressing the belief that he could win the French Open but he was a finalist back in 2016 when he had his best season and also his best clay swing.
However Murray hasn’t played at the French Open since he was obliterated by Stan Wawrinka in the first round of the admittedly strange 2020 edition of Roland Garros, which was played in winter and with no crowds present.
“Physically, I was not good the year I played against Wawrinka,” he said. “I’d like to get the opportunity to play it one more time before I stop playing. While I feel physically really good, I would like to play there again.”
During that great 2016 season run, Murray won the Italian Open in Rome and reached the final in Madrid.
In both Madrid and at Roland Garros, Murray would be denied by the sublime talents of Novak Djokovic.
Djokovic should line up among the favourites for the French Open, while Murray will have to do well to get himself among the seeds.
If Murray can continue being as resilient and difficult to put away as he has been so far in 2023, he could cause a few headaches in Paris.
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