Andy Murray suffered a third straight ATP Masters 1000 opening round defeat on Thursday at the Mutua Madrid Open, his comeback bid against Andrea Vavassori falling short despite four match point saves in a 6-2, 7-6(7) loss.
Coupled with his first-round loss to Alex de Minaur two weeks ago in Monte-Carlo, Murray is still searching for his first clay win this season.
“Certainly the beginning of the clay season hasn’t been that easy for me, but normally after a few weeks, I start to feel better and play better,” Murray said in his post-match press conference. “Obviously last year, I’m not saying I came here and played unbelievable tennis straightaway, but I was playing well enough to win matches… against good players, top players.”
His next opportunity to find his footing on the clay could come next month in Rome, where he has not competed since 2017. Beyond that, Murray hinted that he could make his first appearance at Roland Garros since 2020.
“There are a few different opinions in my team about what I should be doing,” Murray said of a potential return to the Parisian clay, on which he has competed just once since his run to the 2017 semi-finals.
Asked to further clarify his thinking on Roland Garros, Murray said he was hoping to play in the year’s second Grand Slam.
“I would like to play, just purely because I don’t know if I’ll get another opportunity to play again. Whilst I feel fit and healthy, I would like to give it a go,” he explained. “But I also have ambitions of competing for Wimbledon titles and that sort of stuff, and I know that sitting here today that probably doesn’t sound realistic, but I do believe that that’s a possibility. I obviously want to do the right thing there.”
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While Murray skipped Roland Garros in each of the past two years to make an early start to his Wimbledon preparations, he recalled his 2016 campaign during which he reached the final in Paris — his best result at the event — before winning his second Wimbledon crown. Conversely, he considered his 2013 Wimbledon title that came after he missed the clay major.
“I don’t know. It’s impossible to say what the right thing to do is, but obviously it’s a Grand Slam. I would like the opportunity to play,” he concluded.