After Andy Murray’s loss to Rafael Nadal in the Monte Carlo Masters semi-finals, the two are set to meet again at the Mutua Madrid Semi-finals.
Though both of them has lost to each other, Nadal has beaten Murray 4 out of the 5 times they met. Certainly, the odds are against Murray for their next set on the clay court
“Preparation is key when you’re up against the best”
“You prepare to play against the best clay court player of all time and get yourself ready for that challenge mentally,” Murray acknowledged to BBC Sport.”
At the clay court, Nadal will dominate. Coming from Murray himself, he knows that Rafael Nadal is one of the world’s most at-home players in a clay court and he’s even admitted to BBC Sport he practiced with the king of the clay court in Mallorca to “see some things.”
Rafael Nadal is the king of clay court titles
Right now, he is looking to secure his 50th clay-court win and his 29th ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophy. This is a real challenge for the 28-year old Scot who is currently occupying the world’s no. 2 position in tennis.
“Murray has improved his clay game since 2009”
”He’s definitely playing better, for sure, but I also think that I’m playing better than I was at this time last year,” Murray said to Sports Illustrated. Nadal may be reigning over his clay court games but Andy Murray has beaten him before, giving him his first Masters title from a clay court. He’s also definitely improved his play on clay when compared with his 2009 and 2011 matches on the clay court, Independent notes. However, that single win is a too thin of a victory to hang onto when Nadal has beaten Murray in the last 4 matches.
Murray has won six out of his seven matches on the clay
Even though he lost to Nadal on the Monte Carlo semis, Murray has renewed his playing confidence with six wins on the clay court, strengthening his position as a formidable contender.
Nadal gets a huge point for being the crowd favourite
The nine-time French open champion comes to play against Murray with two successive tournament titles from Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
Although Andy Murray has definitely improved on the clay court, Rafael Nadal looks to be in a better position to win, seeking a third tournament title to follow his Monte Carlo and Barcelona victories.